Estate Planning: I moved from California (or another state) to Oregon.

Estate Planning: I moved from California (or another state) to Oregon.

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This is a question I get a lot: “I moved to Portland from California [or another state]. Do I need to have my estate plan reviewed or revised?” The answer is yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. Let’s break down some of the major documents involved in an estate plan and why you’ll want to have them reviewed and possibly revised.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is a document that helps your family to avoid probate and conservatorship court processes if you die or are incapacitated. It tells your trustee what to do with your assets if you die or are incapacitated. You should have an Oregon estate planning lawyer review your revocable living trust when you move to Oregon to ensure that it complies with Oregon laws. There are many differences in Oregon laws and the laws of other states. A couple of key things to look out for when having your plan reviewed are whether you need to take any steps to preserve any community property, and whether you need to plan to avoid or reduce Oregon estate taxes.


A will is a document that tells a probate judge how you want your assets distributed after you die. You should get your will reviewed if you move to Oregon from another state. You’ll want to make sure that it complies with the requirements for will execution under Oregon law, and you should get counsel on whether you have any new estate planning issues under Oregon law, such as estate tax liability.

Healthcare documents

Your healthcare documents name a person to make healthcare decisions for you and outline some of your healthcare wishes. The states vary quite a bit on healthcare laws, documents, and terminology. You’ll want to get your healthcare documents reviewed and probably revised if you moved to Oregon from another state. You might have a Healthcare Power of Attorney or a Healthcare Proxy from your old state. Here in Oregon, we have an Advance Directive laid out by statute, and the person named to make healthcare decisions for you is called your Healthcare Representative. The Oregon Advance Directive asks you to outline whether you want life support and tube feeding in various scenarios.

Financial Powers of Attorney

The states also vary a lot on Financial Powers of Attorney. You’ll want to have yours reviewed and probably revised when you move to Oregon. Not only do the states’ laws vary, but the different banking and investment institutions vary on whether they’ll accept your Powers of Attorney, so you’ll want to review your Power of Attorney with those institutions, as well. In Oregon, the law allows for both Springing (takes effect on a specific date or when a specific event occurs, such as incapacity) and Durable (takes effect as soon as it’s signed) Powers of Attorney. However, you should get counsel about which type is best. Many institutions don’t accept Springing Powers of Attorney, and ones that do often require documentation at the time the Power of Attorney is needed that makes them impractical.

Guardians for Kids

When you move to a new state, you’ll want to review and revise your guardian plan, which names short and long-term guardians to care for your kids if you die or are incapacitated. You will want to name new short-term guardians for your kids, so that they don’t spend any time in the foster care system. This is especially important if your long-term guardians live out of state. You’ll also want to reconsider your long-term guardian plan. It may be that as your kids settle into their new home state, that it makes more sense to name guardians who will keep them in the community they know and love.

If you want to get started, read about our estate planning services and schedule an appointment.

To your family's health + happiness,


Candice N. Aiston

P.S. Want to get started slowly but surely? Check out our Guardian Plan kit.


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Candice N. Aiston is an Legal Planning Attorney for Estates + Businesses in the Portland, Oregon area. She helps people to prepare for a lifetime of security, prosperity, and guidance. If you would like to receive her free reports, please visit to sign up. Follow her Facebook page for daily planning tips:

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