Q: Do I need to create a new will if I move to another state?
A: Dear Curious: Most states will accept a will that was executed properly under another state’s laws. However, there could be differences in the new state’s laws that make certain provisions in your will invalid.
Here are a couple things you should review in your will when moving: Your executor: Consider whether or not the executor you’ve chosen will be able to serve in that role in your new location. Every state will allow an out-of-state executor to serve, but some states have special requirements for executors, such as requiring them to post a bond. Other states require non-resident executors to appoint an agent who lives within the state to accept legal documents on behalf of the estate.
Marital property: If you are married, consider how your new state treats marital property. While a common-law state might treat the property you own in your name alone as yours, community-property states treat all of your property as owned jointly with your spouse. If your new state treats marital property differently, you might need to draft a new will to ensure your wishes are honored.
If you’re moving to a new state, meet with a Personal Family Lawyer® to have your will and other planning documents reviewed.