Ask an Expert: March, 2021 Edition


I recently relocated my family to a different state for work. Do I need to create a new will or are my current documents still good?

–Curious Mover


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 things you should review in your will when moving:

Your executor: Consider whether or not the executor you’ve chosen will be able to serve in that role in your new location. Every state will allow an out-of-state executor 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 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’re moving to a new state, meet with us, as your Personal Family Lawyer®, to have your will and other planning documents reviewed. We specialize in helping you build a team to support you no matter what your needs are, whether they are legal, insurance, financial, or tax related.  Contact us today to schedule your meeting.  

This article is a service of the Law Office of Aisha M. Williams, APC, serving San Diego, Carlsbad, Escondido, and all of California. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a one-hour Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office or clicking the scheduling link on this site to schedule your Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $350 session at no charge.