Relocating to another state means going through a lot of changes. If you have moved to Virginia, you might be happy to know that your will from another state will still remain valid. However, even if your out-of-state will is valid in Virginia, you should always consult your estate and probate lawyer. Updating your out-of-state will according to the Virginia Estate Planning laws will help you take advantage of the Virginia laws.
Reasons why not updating your out-of-state will may be a bad idea.
Personal Representative: When drafting a will or estate plan, one has to name personal representatives or executors. When you move out of the state and relocate to Virginia, the person named executor in your will might not have moved along with you. When naming personal representatives in a will, people choose someone who lives close to them. If your personal representative lives in another state, they will have to travel where you live to carry out their responsibilities.
Marital Property Ownership Laws in each state vary: Every state has different marital property ownership laws. Virginia is an equitable distribution state. In case you drew your will in the state, which is a community property state, you may have to change your will after relocating to Virginia.
Taxes are different: Every state has its inheritance and estate taxes. After moving to Virginia, you must be aware of the estate taxes and take the necessary steps to make your estate plan compatible with Virginia tax laws.
Probate process is complex: Like most other things, the probate process varies from one state to another. How your estate will undergo the probate process will significantly change depending on which state it has been formed. Even if your will is valid in the estate where you previously lived, your beneficiaries may have to comply with Virginia probate laws. In most states, the distribution of the estate can turn complex if the person dies without a valid will. However, each state has its own intestate laws that govern the probate process. Thus, it’s recommended to consult a probate law firms if you have moved to Virginia.
Holographic Will: Holographic wills are hand-written will. Only a few states in the U.S consider holographic wills as valid. In Virginia, a holographic will is deemed to be valid only if two people can validate the person’s signature on the will.
Why should you change your Out-of-State Will after Moving to Virginia?
If you have relocated to Virginia and on the fence about whether to update your will or continue the out-of-state will, you should consult a qualified estate planning attorney. One of the best reasons to update your will is that there is no estate tax or inheritance tax in Virginia. Before July 2007, Virginia levied estate tax which was equal to federal taxes.
If the state where you previously lived has an estate tax, revising the estate plan will significantly benefit your beneficiaries.
What are the requirements for a Virginia Will?
Anyone aged 18 to older is eligible for creating a will in Virginia. Besides this, the person should be mentally sound to draft a will. People who are not mentally competent due to sickness, age, or cognitive disabilities can’t create a will. While oral wills are valid in many states, it’s not valid in Virginia. At the time of signing the will, at least two people should be present as witnesses.