Some clients ask whether they need to change their will or trust when they move into California from another state. Usually wills and trusts created in one state are valid in others as long as they were validly executed in the state where they were created. However there may be rules in the state you moved from that are different from the rules in California and this could effect your estate planning, especially in the area of marital property ownership. Here are some examples that may cause you to consdier having your trust reviewed once you have moved to California.
1. If you are married and moving into California, property you acquired in another state during your marriage may become ‘quasi-community” property so that now it is owed by both spouses.
This may necessitate amending some of the provisions in your living trust to be sure your trust document relects your wishes as to distributions of real property.
2. If you have a will created in another state which had a efficient probate process, you may want to change your estate plan to a trust since California’s probate process can be lengthy and expensive.
3. California my have different rules concerning child’s trusts and custodial accounts such as those set up under the Uniform Transfer To Minor’s Act. California allows a custodial account set up for a minor to last until the child is 25. Other states limit is to 21.
4. Getting a new durable power of attorney for assets might be a good idea when you move if you are going to be dealing with California banks and assets. Some banks can balk at out of state documents.
5. California uses an Advance Health Care Directive to take the place of what some states call a Living Wll and Durable Power of Attorney for health care. At some point, you may want to consider updating to have the California form.
For peace of mind, It might be wise to have a California estate planning lawyer review your estate planning documents when you complete your move just to verify that the documents are valid and determine if they could benefit from revision. The experienced lawyers at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation would be happy to meet with you.