Moving from State to State

The laws of all states differ with respect to wills. If you move to a different state after you make and execute your will, it may be a good idea to have your will reviewed by a lawyer in your new state. Basically, a will properly drafted and executed in your former state—and that would be valid in your former state— will typically be regarded as valid under the law of your new state.

Do not forget that the laws in your new state may be more favorable than the laws of your previous state. For example, your new state may have different processes to “prove” the will. Or your new state may permit some probate matters to be handled on a less formal and less expensive basis. Sometimes this can be accomplished simply by adding language that refers to certain statutory provisions in your new state’s laws.

Sometimes complications will occur because different states maintain different statutory classifications of property. The differences between states without community property schemes and those that have them can create important complications. If your will was executed in a state that does not have a community property scheme and you subsequently move to a community property state (or vice versa), you may want to confer with a lawyer in your new state to determine whether to create a new will to achieve your intended result.

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