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Do I Need to Update My Will If I Move to A New State?

May 8, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you previously prepared a will in your old state of residence and it was valid there, it is most likely valid in your new state. This is because many states across the country have laws that explicitly say that. However, out of state wills could pose serious problems and could at least prompt you to think about generating new will. One of the most important of these is marital property rules.

For example, if you married and have moved from the community property state to common law state then the rules about what your spouse and you can own might change. For community property states, spouses typically together will own anything together that is acquired while they are married. In other states, each spouse will typically own whatever is in his or her own name. Moving to a community property state means that the state could treat your property as if it had been acquired within the community property state and this might not be what you and your spouse wanted.

Another aspect of updating your estate plan when you move to a new location has to do with your executor. Your executor might also be called your personal representative but this is the person who you name in your will to wrap up your estate administration after you pass away. This person could pay the bills, collect the property, make tax payments, and distribute what remains for people named in the will. Some states have clear restrictions about who can serve as your executor, so even if your will is still valid, you might want to generate a new one, naming a different person as an executor. You can ask all of these questions with your experienced estate planning lawyer.     

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