WLG On Our Mind

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Role of San Diego Wills and Trusts Lawyers When You Move to or from a Different State

San Diego is a City filled with people on the move.  Some moving in and some moving out.  San Diego trust and estate planning lawyers carry the responsibility to help their clients prepare for life cycle events and plan for the best ways to financially care for their families after their deaths.  Separate from helping clients deal with what life throws at them, an Estate Planning Attorney, must also plan and prepare documents which are compliant with a complex maze of state laws.  This becomes more complicated when more than one state is involved. The laws and rules that apply to wills, trusts, powers of attorney, as well as, marital inheritance rights vary from state to state.  Some differences are minor, while others can impact both trust and planning documents significantly.  Someone who already has established an estate plan including a  trust in one state, needs to know that they should at least review it with an estate planning lawyer when relocating to another state.

For example, if you have created a trust in California, but then move to Florida for retirement, it’s a good idea to meet with a trusts lawyer in your new city.  Likewise, someone moving from somewhere else in the U.S. to San Diego should contact a San Diego trust attorney to review the documents and potentially amend them to satisfy California law.

If someone is incapacitated, or after a death, when a trust is administered, it is usually done under the laws of the state where the person resides or resided.  This can get a little tricky if you have residences in two states—say, if you’re a “sun-bird.”  In those situations, it’s best to work with trusts lawyers in both states.  The changes needed may be as small as changing a little wording, but they could also be more complicated.

There are some estate planning documents that should always be reviewed with an estate planning lawyer when moving to a new state.  Powers of attorney are vital for determining who can act for you if you become incapacitated.  Powers of attorney are administered under state law.  Powers of attorney drawn up by a trust lawyer in Scottsdale may be disregarded by banks, care facilities and hospitals in California.  Unfortunately, different looking documents with different wording may be rejected even if sister-state rules say the documents should be accepted and help from the Courts is always uncertain, slow and expensive.

It is possible to have trusts and other estate planning documents set up in more than one state, though the complexities of doing so are definitely something that should be done with the guidance of a knowledgeable professional with plenty of experience in multi-state planning.

For many, the largest consideration in cross state or multi-state wills and trusts planning is money.  The right trust, done the right way, under the correct state laws, can save you property taxes, income taxes, and an enormous amount of hassle and frustration.  By working with a good trusts and estate attorneys, you can find what structure and documents hold the best benefits for you, your estate, and your heirs. 

If you are new to California, or maintain a part year residence in more than one state, and have questions about what can work in your situation, please give me a call at (619) 281-1888.


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The Attorneys of the Weissler Law Group assist clients in San Diego, California as well as in: Coronado, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Del Cerro, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Escondido, National City, Spring Valley, and Chula Vista.

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