When Governor Ige signed our stay-at-home order on March 23, many snowbirds and retirees, who were staying in their second homes, found themselves stuck in Hawaii for a little longer than they originally planned.
From a legal standpoint, many part-time residents of the Aloha State may now be wondering whether their legal documents, such as Powers of Attorney and health care directives, are valid in states other than where they were originally drafted.
The answer, like most things in life, is that it depends. Estate planning documents are generally based on state laws. While it’s possible that your documents are compatible with the laws in more than one state, it’s still important to have them reviewed for your security and peace of mind.
When we meet with clients who split their time between Hawaii and another state, we first review any documents that were previously created. If we find that there are significant differences between the states’ laws, we will then work to amend the documents or take additional steps so that the client ultimately has a set of legal documents that will be honored both here in Hawaii and their home state.
We do, however, caution people about creating separate Powers of Attorney or Healthcare Directives for each state where they reside. This action may invalidate one or both of your sets of documents and add confusion for your loved ones, financial advisors, and healthcare providers. Again, when in doubt, call our office. We’ll review what you currently have in place and guide you toward a solution that will ensure your wishes are honored wherever you are if something happens.
If you have additional questions about the effectiveness of your Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive while you’re a snowbird stuck in Hawaii, or if you would like to have a brand new plan created so that your wishes are known and that someone of your choosing can make decisions for you if something happens, please contact us at (808) 244-3905 to set up a consultation.