How to Move Your Trust to California With a Trust Modification

In all likelihood, when you first created your living trust, it was set up to be governed by the laws of the state in which you were then residing. If you have since moved, it may be beneficial to execute an Orange County trust modification to ensure that your trust will be governed by California law. Doing so could provide the trust with tax savings, as well as the ability to take advantage of potentially more favorable trust laws. The act of moving the trust itself may be far less burdensome than you think.

If you recently moved to California and are considering moving your existing trust to this state, consider the following:

  • If the trust is revocable, you may simply need to prepare and execute an Orange County trust modification. 
  • If the trust is irrevocable, whether it can be moved to California will depend on the terms of the trust instrument. 
  • If the trust does not designate a “home” state or outline the procedures for moving it from one state to another, whether the trust can be moved, and how the move can be accomplished will depend on the laws of the state, the trustee’s state of residence, the location where the trust is administered, the location of the beneficiaries, and the location of any real estate that is held in the trust.
  • In some cases, the trust situs can be changed by removing a trustee and replacing the trustee with someone who lives within California, as well as moving the trust assets, books, and records to this state.

While the process for moving a living trust may not be difficult, it should be carried out by an

experienced Orange County trust lawyer who fully understands the ramifications of changing the situs and the steps necessary to ensure its completion. Call our office at (714) 459 -5481 for a consultation. We also invite you to learn more about the process for amending a trust by viewing our free guide, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm