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Is the will that you drafted in one state valid in another when you move?

Is the will that you drafted in one state valid in another when you move?

| Jun 16, 2021 | Estate Planning |

There are a variety of reasons someone may relocate from one state to another. A move for a job or returning home after retirement are just two reasons why people do so.

If you’ve taken steps to craft an estate plan, including drafting a will, then you’re ahead of the game compared to some of your peers. However, you may not realize that your will that you previously drafted in another state may not be valid here in Indiana.

Why might your will not be valid in your new state of residence?

Generally, a will that is valid in one state is also valid in another, provided that you followed all the proper formalities when drafting your initial one. There are some exceptions to this unwritten rule, though.

Here in Indiana, for example, testators must sign their wills in front of two witnesses. If you originally drafted your will in another state that didn’t have such a requirement, then a probate judge could deem your existing will to be invalid once you move here.

The same logic applies if you relocate from a state that doesn’t require anyone to assess your testamentary capacity to draft a will, as Indiana state law requires witnesses to do here.

Each jurisdiction also has its own requirements regarding who can serve as witnesses, how old a testator may need to be to execute their will and what types of wills are acceptable. Each of these factors may impact whether a will is valid when you move from one state to another and thus why you should take time to revisit your estate plan whenever you relocate.