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What happens to your will when you move?

A will always benefits from an update after a notable life event. You might consider adjusting your will after you have a child, begin a marriage or buy a house. Moving to a different state is a huge life change that demands planning and consideration. Just like you will need to change your driver’s license and voter registration, you should modify this very important document. Your loved ones depend on a revised will for clarification and structure in the future.

State laws govern your will

Your will is drafted in a certain state; therefore, it is governed by that state. There’s a chance the next place you move to will have the same laws, but there is an equal chance it will not. This holds the risk of your will being invalid after you cross state lines.

If state laws differ, or a new law passes, this changes the validity of your will. You don’t have to start over, but your will, trust, medical directive or power of attorney might require some tweaks. You may have to locate witnesses and obtain an affidavit, which is a verified statement.

Some terms have different meanings in different states, and some provisions might not comply with state laws. For example, a few states require the executor of your will to be related by blood, marriage or to be a resident in that state. If you plan on living in one of these states, you might have to find a new executor.

Next step after the move

It is best to be organized and prepared when it comes to financial planning. Moving to a new state is a significant life event for you and your family. Once you settle in, it’s wise to do research on state laws and rules, then review your will. After that, you should revisit the will periodically as your life changes.

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