New State, New Will
If you’ve moved to California for retirement, you need a new will. While your old will (and other estate planning documents) from a previous state might be sufficient to pass through California probate court without a problem, there is no guarantee.
There are many, critical variances in probate laws. Specifically, how each state views trust laws and powers-of-attorney laws. These are especially important aspects of your will that can mean dramatic changes if they aren’t upheld by California courts. Even if California probate courts ultimately uphold the plan you created in your previous home state, there might be a lengthy review process by the courts before your assets are released to your benefactors.
More important than you assets, are you health-related documents. Not only do laws vary from state to state, but treatment options change as well. In addition, if more than three years has passed from the creation of your estate plan, you need to update the health directives to keep pace with the advancing fields of medical treatments. For example, a DNR order from ten years ago is out of date with the kinds of medical options available today.
When updating your will and health-directives because of new home state, you will find that 95% of the estate plan will remain the same. However, the remaining 5% that needs edits can make the difference between a smooth transition for your family and difficult one.