If you have recently moved to the state of California, it is generally in your best interest to review your estate plan. This is because the laws in this state will likely be different than those in the one that you just relocated from. Therefore, you may need to alter a will, trust or other documents to ensure that your plan can be executed in a timely manner after you die or become incapacitated.
California is a community property state
Most states divide joint assets in an equitable manner when a couple chooses to end their marriage. However, California law divides joint assets equally unless a couple creates a prenuptial, postnuptial or similar type of contract.
Who will serve as the executor of your estate?
Typically, your executor is a person who lives in close proximity to wherever a probate proceeding would likely take place after your death. If you move to a new state, it may not be convenient for that person to serve in such a capacity. Therefore, it may be necessary to select someone else to represent your estate during probate.
Make sure that the house is titled properly
If you’re planning on buying a home, make sure that it is properly titled. For instance, if you are going to put it in a trust, it needs to be titled in the trust’s name.
Ideally, you’ll speak to a California estate planning attorney at some point after moving to the state. This may allow you to ensure that your plan conforms to state law before any part of it needs to be executed.