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The role of residency in estate planning efforts

When a Philadelphia resident is making provisions for his or her estate plan, residency is not often part of the conversation. In reality, however, where a person establishes residency can have a great deal of impact on how his or her estate planning efforts will play out. There are cases in which one state's laws can be more beneficial to a family than another, which is why residency should be discussed during the planning phase.

One way that estate planning can differ from one state to another is in terms of varying state taxation. Some states impose a higher estate tax than others, which can take a bigger bite out of the assets that are handed down to loved ones. Another issue involves end-of-life planning. Certain states have laws that allow individuals to maintain a high degree of control over how their medical care is handled during the last stages of their life.

Establishing residency is more complicated than just determining where an individual receives his or her mail. There are a number of options that can be used to establish residency in a state that has more favorable estate laws. Each option requires a careful legal approach, but a solution can be found to suit virtually every set of needs.

Residency is an estate planning topic that is often overlooked, but there are plenty of cases in which a change could have a considerable impact on a Philadelphia family's bottom line. The subject is worth bringing up during the process of planning one's estate. If a change is desired, working with a qualified estate planning attorney can help a family make the best possible choice.

Source:, "Estate Planning for an Aging Population", John M. Goralka, July 5, 2016

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