Updating a Will When You Move
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Do You Need to Update Your Will If You Move

When you are relocating to a new state, you probably have a lot of thoughts and worries going through your mind, but don’t allow your estate planning documents fall to the wayside.

The wonderful news is you’ve already managed the difficult part in getting you documents together. There’s no reason you should begin all over again with a newer estate plan.

You do, nevertheless, need to make sure that your last will, living will, living trust, or advance directive, POA, and any other estate planning documents you might have, are in complete compliance according to your new state’s laws—and that those documents all continue to do what you planned for them to do.

The following is a summarized explanation of the way state law can impact the authenticity of different estate planning documents and what you should do to be certain they are up to date in your new state.

Last Will and Testament

Each state has various requirements for the carrying out of wills, but the positive news is that a lot of states approve of out-of-state wills in which were correctly carried out in accordance with that state’s laws.

But that does not mean you’re in the clear on ensuring your will still accomplishes what you want it to accomplish:

  • Executor: One huge consideration is if your named executor can serve in that faculty in your new state. Even though most states permit out-of-state executors for serving, they might have special provisions for them to meet, like posting a bond to guarantee they are going to follow your new state’s laws and procedures. A lot of states, like North Carolina, calls for an out-of-state executor to designate an in-state agent to acquire legal paperwork on behalf of the estate.
  • Marital Property: When you are married, another thing to examine is how your state handles marital property. States that are community property ones, handles marital property as being owned collectively, whereas spouses that are in common law one’s own property that is in their own name. When you are relocating to a community property state and you had formerly lived in a common-law state (or the other way around), your will might not treat your property as you wish, and you might need to devise a new will to demonstrate your wishes.
  • Probate: This process is a court-monitored method of distributing the deceased’s estate, also differs significantly by state. You are going to want to guarantee your will still manages the matter of probate efficiently, in which might need some refining of the will’s terminology or even devising another will or other estate planning documentation.

Living Trust

When you have a revocable living trust, it might still be legitimate in your new state, or in any state, for instance. The primary consideration involving your trust when you relocate is to be sure it is funded with all the assets you want to pass promptly to your beneficiaries.

If you’ve purchased a new home, for example, you may want to modify your living trust.

Living Will or Advance Directive

A living will or advance directive — in which declares your wishes concerning medical care if you are unable to communicate them — is typically relevant across state lines, but it’s not guaranteed.

Many states don’t even address the notion within their laws, making it particularly difficult to be sure if an out-of-state living will or advance directive is going to be adhered to.

Since each state has their own forms, requirements, and terminology, the best thing you can do is either be completely sure your documents are going to be valid if/when you require them or simply to devise new ones in accordance with your new state’s laws.

Power of Attorney

Likewise to wills, a lot of states are going to recognize and respect powers of attorney, compromising of durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and financial power of attorney, that were conducted out of state provided that they have fulfilled the legal requirements of that state. It is not automatic, nevertheless, so you should verify to make sure yours will is still going to be valid.

For practical purposes in addition to convenience, however, you may want to think about having a power of attorney that is located in your new state.

Beneficiary Designations

As well as the aforementioned estate planning documents, a lot of individuals additionally have life insurance policies, pension and retirement accounts, or transfer-on-death or pay-on-death accounts included in their estate plan. All of the above provide that the benefits directly transfer to the selected beneficiary or beneficiaries.

These policies and accounts should not be impacted by your relocation to another state, but you do need to guarantee that your personal details, including your new address, is accurate.

A Perfect Time to Update

As all other major life changes, your move is a great time to guarantee you have your estate planning documentation arranged. An estate planning attorney in your new location is going to be a huge help in establishing if your documents are in need of updating or not.

Even when you don’t think laws in your new state are going to impact what you’ve already devised. It’s still a perfect time to be sure all the names and numbers are updated and that you have included all the individuals and property you want incorporated in your estate plan.

Putting in a little time now is going to save your loved ones loads of inconvenience later.


  1. Do I need to update my estate planning documents if I move to a new state? LegalZoom. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/do-i-need-to-update-my-estate-planning-documents-if-i-move-to-a-new-state

Attorney Arizona

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

You’ve worked hard for your life, and you need to protect it. You owe it to your family and your legacy to take care of planning now. Contact Ogborne Law to schedule your estate-planning session.

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