By Darlynn Morgan, Newport Beach Elder Attorney

It’s officially December, which means the “snowbirds” are starting to take flight!

As an elder attorney in Newport Beach, I am all too familiar with this term!  Southern California is one of the top “snowbird” destination sites in the country for people seeking to escape the brutal cold of the Northern and Midwestern states.

I also know that many retired Americans will stay with their children or grandchildren who live locally in Southern California during this time, while others will go as far as purchasing property here to ensure they have a “home away from home” during the winter months.

Yet if you or an elderly loved one falls into the “snowbird” category this year, I want to encourage you to do your homework and find out whether or not your will, trust or other estate planning documents will work as you planned if something unexpectedly happens to you while out-of-state.

That’s simply because each state has its own set of laws and rules , which means that your seemingly rock solid estate planning documents may not work properly, or even be considered legal in the state in which your death or incapacity occurs.

This is especially true as it relates to your living will or advanced health care directive.  The legality of these documents varies from state to state and a doctor or hospital may choose not to honor your healthcare wishes if something unexpectedly happens to you.

Fortunately though, all of this is avoidable with a little bit of help!

You simply need to meet with an elder attorney in Newport Beach who can help you determine what is, and is not legal in the states in which you reside.  This is especially important if your will or trust was created before you owned property in this dual state.

Here at Morgan Law Group, we are happy to help you get to the bottom of such dual residency issues.  We do that by thoroughly reviewing the documents you already have in place during a comprehensive Family Wealth Planning session.  These sessions are normally $750, but you can come in for free with the mention of this article.  Simply call (949) 260-1400 to reserve your spot.