Mobility Trust Works for Mobile Families

Two weeks ago I received a question from “J.D.”, who has a young family to protect. Still, he and his wife have delayed making any estate plan because they anticipate that their jobs will relocate them in the next few years. J.D.’s brother has encouraged them to move forward regardless of the likelihood of having to relocate.

Last week’s column focused on the portability of various estate planning documents. Any relocation within the state of Texas causes no issues at all; legal documents created in any Texas county are valid in all other Texas counties. I also introduced the idea of a Mobility Trust as a flexible approach that can offer benefits to many families who face relocation for their careers.

Some of the benefits of a Mobility Trust are:

  1. The ability to relocate easily from state to state. When written properly by a CELA, Mobility Trusts allow you to relocate without needing to recreate the trust in your new location. The correctly written Mobility Trust contains provisions that allow it to adapt to the laws of whatever state to which your work relocates you. It is written to follow you wherever you may move.

  2. Avoidance of probate.  If either spouse dies, the estate does not need to go through probate if you have allowed the trust to hold title to your property. If you own a house, you do so in a manner which lists the trust as owner. When you relocate, you might keep that house as a rental/investment property while you buy a new residence in your new state. If you later die, the Mobility trust allows you to avoid probate in both of the states where you own real estate.