Senior couple with attorney updating their estate plan

Do I Need to Update My Estate Plan if I Move to Another State?

The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC Sept. 1, 2023

Taking the time and putting in the effort required to create a comprehensive estate plan is an admirable thing to do to provide for your loved ones in the event of your passing. But what if you end up moving to another state? Does your estate plan remain valid, or do differences in laws from one state to another make it necessary to update your plan? These are important questions to consider as you prepare to relocate. 

If you have recently moved to the Southern California area or are planning to relocate to a different state and want to know how it affects your estate plan, reach out to the experienced estate planning attorney at The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC in Redlands, California, for the knowledgeable guidance you need. The firm proudly serves people across the communities of Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and Palm Springs. 

Why Estate Plans Aren’t Necessarily Set in Stone

Though estate plans are intended to stand the test of time and be a firm foundation upon which you can rest as you look toward the future, there needs to be a certain level of flexibility built into your estate plan. When moving from one state to another, you will want to make sure your estate planning documentation adheres to your new state’s laws.  

In addition, there are times in which relocating is part of other major life changes (marriages, deaths, etc.), which are also good reasons to review and update your estate plan. 

Wills: Do They Remain Valid Moving From State to State?

Wills are fundamental estate planning tools. In large part, you should not have to completely throw away your existing will and draft a new one when you relocate, since many states have laws in place that ensure wills created in other states remain valid. There are, however, some details you should review, including how your new state handles marital property and whether it places restrictions and requirements on who can be named as your will’s executor. 

California’s Community Property Rules

For people moving into California, you should take special note of the state’s community property rules. Under California law, all assets acquired during a marriage belong to each spouse equally — even if only one spouse’s name is listed on documents such as car titles or the deed to a home. If you have wishes that include portions of your assets going to someone other than your spouse, this will need to be addressed differently in California. 

Trusts: Do They Need to Be Updated?

A living trust will likely remain valid in any state after you relocate, though there may be some things you wish to add to your trust (such as any new real estate acquired in your new state). It’s also good to make it a habit to review your trust periodically to make sure it is updated and follows along with your current wishes. 

Powers of Attorney in a New State

Different states have different forms and documentation, particularly when it comes to items like advance directives and powers of attorney. When moving to a new state, it is in your best interest to meet with an estate planning attorney to make sure your wishes regarding powers of attorney are properly documented in your new state of residence. 

Put Your Trust in Skilled Legal Counsel

Your estate plan is the product of a lot of thought, preparation, and hard work. To avoid running the risk of things not being in proper order when relocating from one state to another, you need to meet with a skilled estate planning attorney to review your plan. Making sure your estate plan meets the requirements and regulations of your new home state can give you peace of mind. 

At The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, you can receive the reliable legal counsel you need to make informed decisions regarding your estate plan and your family’s future.  

If you are moving to or away from the Redlands, California area — or anywhere throughout Southern California, including Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, or Riverside — get in touch with The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC today to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate plan.