Effect To Will When Moving to A Different State
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Will My Original Will Be Valid In Another State?
When changing residences from one state to another, your will must be reviewed to make sure that it conforms with the state laws of the new state to which you are moving. As the requirements for creating a valid will vary from state to state, you may have to change your will to conform to the new state's law for it to be recognized there.
What Are Some Common Will Requirements That Differ From State To State?
General areas to be identified and addressed regarding whether your will is valid in a new state include:
- Witnesses: Each state requires that a will be signed by a specific number of witnesses.
- Signatures: Different states will specify the location in the will of the signatures of the testator (i.e. person creating the will) and the witnesses.
- Self-Proving Affidavit: A self-proving affidavit is a written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer proving that a will is valid in any given state. It should be attached to your will if it is legally recognized by the new state. The form of this affidavit is important. For example, in Connecticut, only the witnesses need to sign the affidavit in order for the will to be valid. However, in Florida, the testator and the witnesses must all sign the affidavit. Thus, a Florida court may not accept a Connecticut self-proving affidavit because the testator did not sign the affidavit.
- Holographic wills: These types of wills are un-witnessed wills that are hand-written by the testator. They are not valid in most states and generally should be avoided.
- Conflicts of law: Sometimes, the new state will have different probate processes you have to follow in order to prove your will. Thus, even though your will may be valid in your previous state, you may have to comply with the new state's laws to establish your will there.
- Location of assets: Another big factor is whether you have assets or property located in the new state. Generally, having assets in the new state will increase your change of proving the validity of your will in the new state.
- Classification of property: Occasionally complications arise if your new state has a different classification of property than your previous one. For example, if your will was executed in a state that does not have a community property system and you move to one of the 9 community property states, you may have to redraft your will to achieve your intended result.
I Have Recently Moved To A New State And Have An Existing Will - Do I Need An Attorney To Help Me Rewrite My Will To Comply With The New State's Laws?
Whenever you move to a new state, you should have a new will prepared in accordance with the laws of that state, or at least make sure that your existing will conforms to your new state's laws. An attorney experienced in estate planning in your new state can look at your existing will and determine if any changes must be made to conform to your new state's laws.
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Last Modified: 08-02-2012 11:17 AM PDT
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