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Guest post by Jennifer K. Halford, Esq.
The Internet is full of checklists and resources to use if you are planning to move. There are packing timelines. There are lists of packing supplies. There are even directions on how to pack boxes.
But moving is much more than purging and organizing your personal affects. There are legal tasks you need to take care of too.
Here are 5 legal tasks to complete when you move:
1. Read your leases: Review your current lease to make sure you will not get into trouble for leaving. You are responsible for paying rent for the entire lease term, even if you have vacated the premises. If you need to move before the lease term is expired, read the lease to see if you can sublet or assign to a new tenant. Check your new lease for these terms before you sign it. And make sure you complete these tasks to protect your rights as a tenant.
2. Protect yourself with insurance: Thoroughly read any contract with a moving company before you sign it for delivery times and insurance coverage. Moving companies are required to provide some moving insurance. But you may wish to purchase more.
3. Notify your creditors: Update your address with all of your creditors to ensure you do not miss a payment. And be sure to complete a change of address with the United States Postal Service and request that your mail be forwarded to your new address.
4. Keep receipts if you are relocating for a job: You may be able to write off your expenses if you are required to relocate more than 50 miles due to a job change. Review the Internal Revenue Service's requirements to qualify for this tax break.
5. Update your estate plan: State laws governing wills and estate plans differ. If you move to a different state, update your estate plan.
Jennifer K. Halford is an attorney whose practice focuses on business law and estate planning. She is also a professor at California State University, Chico, where she teaches Entrepreneurial Law.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.