Estate Planning Red Flag — You’re married and relocating into or out of a community property state
Abstract: In community property states, money earned and property acquired by either spouse during marriage generally belongs to the "community" — meaning each spouse has an undivided one-half interest (regardless of how property is titled). When one spouse dies, his or her share of community property goes to the surviving spouse unless a will provides otherwise. But couples who relocate to or from a community property state may find that the new state’s laws affect their property rights in unexpected ways. This article explains the importance of modifying a will or using trusts or other tools to ensure that an estate plan continues to operate as desired.