It is not uncommon for people to maintain multiple residences in various states. When it comes to estate planning, what one does in Georgia may technically affect what happens in another state, especially with regard to probate litigation. Those who typically move to warmer climates during winter months will want to gain clear understanding of probate laws in both states where they reside in order to prevent potentially stressful situations for family members further down the line.
People with dual residencies during winter months are often known as snowbirds. In addition to potential tax advantages of owning multiple residences, such persons are often attracted by shoreline beauty, warm climates and temporary changes in lifestyle. When a person who has an estate plan in one state dies while residing at a residence in another, however, those left behind can be faced with significant legal challenges.
It is possible to maintain documents such as advanced directives or powers of attorney in multiple states. It is also possible that one state will recognize the documents filed in another state compliant to the laws of the state where filing takes place. Such matters are complex and best addressed through experienced legal guidance.
If the person who dies owns real property in Florida, for instance, ancillary administration may be needed to transfer ownership. If there is probate litigation pending in Georgia at the time, it may affect what type of administration is required. Those owning residences in more than one state who want to simplify the estate planning process may contact a probate and estate administration attorney for help.