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Seniors need to update their estate plans when moving

California seniors move into assisted living communities for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they just want to be free of responsibilities like home maintenance, cooking and cleaning. Many newly widowed people feel isolated and want the socialization that these communities provide. Some people need a little help with activities of daily life (ADL) like bathing and dressing as they get older.

Whatever brings you to this move, don't forget that it will likely require an update to your will and other estate planning documents — particularly if you're selling your home. If you're purchasing a home in a senior community, make sure that the new home is included in your estate plan.

Are you selling or giving away other property as you move and downsize? It's important to remove those items from your estate plan.

If you're moving to another state, whether into or out of California, you'll need to update your will and all of your estate planning documents to ensure that they conform with state laws. Estate planning laws vary significantly among states, and many California laws are considerably different than those in other states.

This is a good time to do a thorough review of your estate plan and make sure that everything is current — including things like your address, emergency contact information, advanced health care directive and the fiduciaries you've chosen. Are you still comfortable with your executor, trustees and those to whom you've given power of attorney (POA)? If you're moving some distance, you want to make sure that the people you've chosen are within a reasonable geographical range or at least willing and able to travel if they have to.

Any move is a significant life event that warrants a review of your estate plan. With experienced legal guidance, you can help ensure that all of the necessary changes are made and that it reflects your current wishes.

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