Estate Planning Considerations When You're Moving Out of State


If you're planning a move to another state, one thing Pasadena attorneys strongly recommend is taking the time to make sure the estate planning consequences of your move are fully considered.

Married couples need to be aware of the distinction between community property and equitable distribution states in relation to estate planning needs. California is a community property state, as is Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are moving from California to a state that is not a community property state, there may be differences in how inheritance and marital property laws will affect the final distribution of your estate. In some cases, the differences can be significant enough that you may need to create a new will to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes. There are also special issues to consider if you are part of a same sex couple and planning to move to a state that does not recognize gay marriage.

Living wills are an important part of any estate plan, but most people are surprised to learn that these documents are affected heavily by state laws. For example, some states do not allow life support to be removed from a pregnant woman even if her living will requests this.

Finally, moving may require that you rethink who you have named as an executor of your estate. Executors generally need to travel to your home state after your death to handle the necessary paperwork, so it is not wise to name someone who will be unwilling or unable to accomplish this task. There are also some states that require out-of-state executors to be related by blood or marriage, which could cause problems if you’ve selected a longtime friend to be the executor of your estate.

How Can We Help?

Consulting an experienced estate planning attorney familiar with the laws of your current state as well as the laws of the state in which you plan to move is the best way to make sure your interests remain protected. If you are in need of legal representation relating to an estate planning matter, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at