There are certain life events that call for a review of your will, and moving to a new state is one of them. But does relocating always mean that you’ll need a brand-new will? Not necessarily.
Wills are creatures of state law, and the laws governing wills, though similar in many ways, vary from state to state. For instance, most states require that two witnesses sign your will along with you, but Vermont requires the signatures of three witnesses in order for a will to be valid. Another example is that, here in Florida, there are restrictions on who can serve as executor of your will, and those restrictions don’t exist in all other states.
In addition to ensuring that your will passes muster under the laws of your new state, it’s a good idea to use your move as a general reminder to take a fresh look at your estate plan. It may have been awhile since you updated your plan, and your family’s circumstances might be different now. For example, have there been births, deaths, or divorces in the family? Do your original choices of executor, trustee, or guardian for your children still make sense? Has your financial status changed significantly?
A qualified estate planning attorney can not only help you make sure your will is still valid, he or she can help you adjust your estate plan so that it is up to date and tailored to your family’s current circumstances.