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Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Friday, September 18, 2020

Should You Change Your Estate Plan When You Move to California?

From finding a place to live, to changing your driver’s license, there are many things that you may want to consider when you move to California. However, one thing that you should consider that you likely haven’t is whether you should change your estate plan.

When you move to California it’s important that you take into consideration the fact that California’s laws are different from those of many other states (and countries). Therefore the language in or the structure of your current estate plan may not work the same way once you move to the golden state.

Laws that Govern Your Estate Plan

Estate planning, trust, and probate laws differ from state to state. Therefore when you created your will, trust, power of attorney, or other estate planning tool in another state, it may not have the same effect in California that you had originally hoped for. For instance, the laws from one state to California, or another country to California may have a different impact on the taxes you owe.

A trust often states that the laws of a particular state are to govern your trust administration. Once you move to California you’ll want to be sure this is changed to California to make things easier. You may also wish to change your trustee, proposed guardian, or agent to someone who lives more locally and has the ability to make appropriate decisions on your behalf.

Where you may have an advance directive, it may be better to sign one in California’s format or establish a POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) to make it easier to identify your wishes for medical care and treatment in the event that important decisions must be made when you are unable to make them yourself.

Review Your Estate Planning Documents

Understanding the estate planning laws of one state can be difficult enough, but when you move to a different state, it can get even more complicated. Therefore, the best thing that you can do is to consult with a California attorney about looking over and doing a thorough review of all estate plan documents once you have moved to California. This includes documents such as the following:

Biddle Law Can Help with the Creation (and Review) of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Even if you don’t believe that there will be any major changes to your estate planning documents, it’s still in your best interest to review them with a qualified California estate plan attorney. He or she will be able to help provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that your documents will be legally enforceable. A qualified attorney can answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process. At Biddle Law, we care about your future and want to assist in protecting your interests. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!


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