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Updating Estate Plans When Moving

Updating Estate Plans When Moving

Millions of people move from one state to another each year, and relocating out of state can be an involved process. You need to update your license plates and driver’s license, find new healthcare providers, update your voter registration, and start filing state taxes in your new location. While you have all of this going on, it can be easy to forget another important step – updating your estate plan.

If you recently moved to the Santa Ana area from another state, it is always wise to consult with a Santa Ana estate planning attorney who can help update your plan to reflect California law.

Different State Laws and Requirements

Each state has its own laws regarding estate planning documents and requirements. For example:

  • Some states accept holographic wills, and others do not.
  • There might be inheritance or estate tax issues to address that did not exist in your previous state.
  • Marital property laws vary across the country, which might influence your choice of a joint revocable trust or not
  • Property titling laws are different, as some states allow transfer-on-death titles and deeds, while others do not

For these reasons and more, a plan that was perfectly effective and valid in your prior state might not be as effective in California.


A change in geography and proximity to loved ones is another important consideration. If you lived in Maryland, you might have designated someone who lived close to you to serve as your power of attorney, healthcare agent, successor trustee, or executor of your will. However, if you move to California, is it still practical to have someone fill these roles who is all the way across the country?

It can be challenging to handle day-to-day financial affairs, healthcare decisions, or probate matters when someone is not geographically close to you. In addition, some states have restrictions on out-of-state executors, such as they need to be a blood-related family member. If you need to update any designations, it is important to do so as soon as possible following your move.

Review Your Estate Plan After Major Life Events

In many situations, a move to another state reflects a major life event, such as a marriage, divorce, new job, and more. When such events happen in your life, it is always wise to review your estate plan for possible updates. This is especially true following:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Increase in assets or property
  • Decrease in assets or property
  • Changes in personal or family relationships

Whether these coincide with a move or not, you should not hesitate to have the right attorney identify which parts of your estate plan need to be updated.

Discuss Your Needs with a Santa Ana Estate Planning Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, we regularly help people with existing estate plans implement updates that better reflect their current life situations. If you recently moved to California and you do not have an estate plan, now is the best time to consider one. Contact us online or call 714.694.1200 to speak with a Santa Ana estate planning attorney today.

<a href="tel:714.694.1200">714.694.1200</a>