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Just Moved to California

Should a person review their estate plan when they move to a new state?  YES!

Quite often there are no changes to be made but other times there are many changes to make. There are differences between community and separate property, other laws differ from state to state, your new property is probably not titled in your trust, and other similar issues.  For all these reasons, and more, you should review your estate plan when you move to California or move to any other state.

Beyond that most people should review their estate plans from time to time just to make sure they are current and accurate.  There are family changes, asset changes and law changes that create the need for review.  This is regardless of whether you have moved to a new state or not.

Lastly, and this is probably the most important issue, a large percentage of people have inadequate estate plans.  There are too many attorneys who practice in too many areas of law so create poor estate plans, there are paralegals who think you just fill in some blanks, there are too many people that use on-line forms, and other similar inadequate estate plans.

All told most people need to review their estate plan and update it with a properly licensed and experienced ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY.  In California the easy way to determine if an attorney is experienced as an estate planning attorney is if they are a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law as determined by the STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA Board of Legal Specialization.  To get this qualification an attorney has to pass a second bar exam that is focused on California estate planning, trust and probate law.  Beyond that one must also pass a background check of other attorneys and Judges to confirm they have the proper experience and background to put a “Certified Specialist.”  Lastly, the applicant has to show they have completed a large number of cases in the areas of law that make up the specialist exam.

In short, if just moved to California meet with a Certified Specialist and get your plan reviewed!

-John