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How To Update Your Estate Plan After Moving States

June 29, 2022

When moving to a new state, it is very important to have your existing plan be reviewed by an estate planning lawyer familiar with your new state’s laws. Every state has specific laws regarding estate planning and can differ from state to state. With that, it is best to ensure yours is up to date and completely valid in your new home state. If you’re moving to California or just moved to that state, North County Legal can review your current plan and make sure if any changes need to be made. Potential adjustments that might need to happen in a state-to-state move are explained below.

What to pay attention to in your will when moving to a new state

Your executor: Most states will allow an out-of-state executor to serve, however some states require specific requirements for those executors. Some other states require out-of-state executors to appoint an agent who lives within your new state to accept legal documents on behalf of the estate.

Marital property: Different states have different laws regarding marital status (i.e., common law states), and it is important to pay attention to what your new state treats marital property. These differences could potentially create a new for you to draft a new will to ensure your desires are honored in your plan.

Interested witnesses: Some states allow the interested witnesses to receive the gift while other states do not allow those gifts. Be sure to check this within your will to ensure the gift is received if desired.

Revocable Living Trust

Your current, valid, revocable living trust should also be valid in your new home state. It is important to make sure you transfer any new assets or new property you may be acquiring through this move to this trust. Doing so will avoid the potential need for probate upon your death.

Power of Attorney

While any of your power of attorneys (medical, durable, financial) should stay valid in your new state. You should make certain it is all still valid by checking with a lawyer. It is recommended to have your power of attorney agents live in the same state as yourself as it will typically be a smoother process when the time comes for need.

Beneficiary Designations

Any accounts with beneficiary designations such as 401(k)s, life insurance policies, and payable-on-death bank accounts should stay valid no matter what state you live in. However, it is important to update your address and any other new information regarding any beneficiary designations.

Your Estate Plan Should Always Be Updated

Any major life event typically calls for an updated estate plan. Especially when moving to a new state, we recommend making an appointment with an estate planning lawyer familiar with your new home state. Here at North County Legal, in California, we have systems in place that will ensure your documents will stay updated throughout your lifetime.

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