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Do I need to create a new will if I move to another state?

Posted by Jason Johnson | Feb 07, 2023

QUESTION

Q: Do I need to create a new will if I move to another state?

–Curious Mover

ANSWER

A: Dear Curious:

Most states will accept a will that was executed properly under another state's laws. However, there could be differences in the new state's laws that make certain provisions in your will invalid.

Here are a couple of things you should review in your will when moving:

YOUR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE 

Consider whether or not the personal representative (or executor) you've chosen will be able to serve in that role in your new location. Every state will allow an out-of-state personal representative to serve, but some states have special requirements for executors, such as requiring them to post a bond. Other states require non-resident executors to appoint an agent who lives within the state to accept legal documents on behalf of the estate.

MARITAL PROPERTY

If you are married, consider how your new state treats marital property. While a common-law state, like Maryland, might treat the property you own in your name alone as yours, community-property states treat all of your property as owned jointly with your spouse. If your new state treats marital property differently, you might need to draft a new will to ensure your wishes are honored.

If you moved to Maryland after having your estate planning prepared, meet with us to have your will and other planning documents reviewed.

Contact Jason Johnson, Personal Family Lawyer®, to help you update your will if you've recently moved to Maryland. Call us at 410-570-1671.

About the Author

Jason Johnson

Principal Attorney Jason C. Johnson received his Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law and was admitted to practice law in Maryland in 2005. Jason started the practice in Annapolis after many years of law enforcement service. He was motivated to limit the pract...

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