The prospect of picking up and moving across the country is daunting enough, but what happens if you’ve made an estate plan in one state and are moving to a new one? Will your estate planning documents still be good? In most cases you can still use an estate plan from another state once you move to a new state. However, when it comes to your last will and testament, there are some considerations you may need to think about.
A part of making your will requires you to both have it signed by two witnesses and to name an executor who will represent your estate during probate. You may also have named the guardian to care for your children if they are still young. In any case, if the people you used as witnesses or those who chose as your representatives are now far away, you may have to change your will. If you don’t have a self-proving will the court will have to call the witnesses in to testify. If they are too far away and cannot make it, the court might invalidate your will. Similar difficulties can arise if your executor or guardian nominees are also unable to make it to court.
Some states allow you to hand write your will, while many do not. In the rare situation that you have a handwritten will, moving to a new state could make your will in valid. While states will recognize the validity of a printed will made in another state, not all will recognize handwritten wills. In this case it’s best to create a new will that complies with your new state’s laws.