You’ve always loved moving, but you settled down for a long time when your children were born. Now that they’re older, you decided that it’s time to move to a new home once again.
While you do love your home in your state, you’ve decided to move to somehere warmer. That place, Florida, was your first pick, and you now have a beautiful home awaiting your arrival.
One of the things you aren’t sure about is your will though. If you move to a new state, will you need to create an entirely new will? What happens when you cross state lines in the United States and have assets protected by the previous state’s laws?
1. Will your will still be valid?
In most cases, no matter where you live in the United States, a will can be upheld by the courts. When an estate plan is drafted and signed properly, then it’s likely to be legal in other states. The truth is, though, that each will is bound by a state’s laws. When you move to a new state, new laws may apply.
2. What needs to change in an estate plan if you move interstate?
One of the things that’s hard to maintain is the witness’s information once you cross the state lines. Unless the witness comes with you, then that person will have to travel to confirm the will upon your death. Unless you’re certain that someone will do that for you, it’s a good idea to have a new witness watch you sign an updated copy of your will.
Another thing to remember is that some state laws do require that all personal representatives of an estate live in the same state as you, so if that’s a concern, your attorney may have to walk you through the selection of a new representative.
3. How long is a will or estate plan valid?
There are actually expiration dates on wills and other legal documents. State laws vary as to when a document is invalidated, so it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney about what Floridian laws expect from your will.
At the very least, you should speak to your attorney about potential changes in state laws that could affect your estate plan and will. You may find that you need to do nothing, or you could find that a few small changes make a major difference when protecting your assets and beneficiaries.