What if a Will is Executed in Another State, But I Live in Maryland?

States have their own laws about wills and how these documents must be executed. So, what happens if you move to another state? Will you need to write a new last will and testament?

If your will was executed in another state and you now live in Maryland, you have little to be concerned about. If your will was properly executed according to the laws of your previous state of residence, it should be honored in Maryland. This means that you should not have to create a new will when you move. That said, reviewing your will after moving may be wise. For example, you might have to execute a codicil to update your will to include your new property. After moving to Maryland, file your will with the Register of Wills Office in your area to ensure it is kept safe.

To schedule a free case evaluation with Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call our Maryland wills and estate planning lawyers at (410) 694-7291.

What Happens if I Live in Maryland and My Will Was Executed in Another State?

If you live in Maryland now but used to live in another state, and that is where your will was executed, your last will and testament should be honored by the probate court in Maryland.

According to Md. Code, Ests. & Trsts. Art., § 4-104, as long as your will was executed in accordance with the laws of the state that you previously lived in, it should be honored when you move to Maryland. For example, if you lived in Pennsylvania and made your will according to that state’s laws, it will still be valid after you move to Maryland. However, if your initial will was not properly executed prior to your move to Maryland, it will not be honored by the probate court following your death.

So, moving to another state should not impact your existing will. Each state has different laws regarding how wills must be executed, so it is important to make sure your will is executed properly, regardless of where you live. Furthermore, always confirm that your new state of residence honors wills executed in other states.

Should I Make a New Will if I Move to Maryland?

Moving can result in changes to your savings, real estate holdings, and other financial assets. This might cause you to contemplate how your will currently divvies up your assets among beneficiaries.

While you may not have to make an entirely new will after you move, our Baltimore wills and estate planning lawyers can help you execute a codicil to reflect your new financial situation. For example, if you have recently moved, you might have sold your previous home and bought a new one. Because of that, you may want to include your new real estate holdings in your will.

Moving is a big life event that may cause you to reflect on other things. With all major life events, it is wise to review your current will to ensure you are comfortable with how your assets will be distributed after your death. If you would like, you can destroy your previous will and make a new one now that you live in Maryland. Depending on your situation, this might not be entirely necessary.

How Do Will Requirements Differ from State to State?

While a will that has been properly executed in another state will be valid in Maryland, the same is not necessarily true the other way around. States have different laws regarding will preparation, which could impact your will’s validity if you move outside of Maryland.

Typically, states will honor wills prepared in other states. However, you might have to meet additional requirements if you move from Maryland to another state. For example, Maryland only requires wills to be signed by two witnesses, and other states might have different rules.

Because rules for wills vary from state to state, it is important to ensure that your last will and testament will be honored if you move. Otherwise, the probate court will take matters into its own hands regarding the distribution of your assets. This might result in certain intended beneficiaries being left out, especially if they are not entitled to your assets per a state’s intestacy laws. If you wish to make a will in Maryland despite your plans to move to another state, our lawyers can review that state’s laws regarding wills to work to make a will that should be honored after your move.

What to Do with Your Will When You Move to Maryland

If you recently moved to Maryland, filing your will with the Register of Wills Office is important. You can also use your move as an opportunity to review your will with our lawyers.

After moving to Maryland, register your will. This is important for several reasons. The first is that registering your will ensures a copy of it is kept safe, eliminating the chance that it could be lost or destroyed. If you end up changing your will after you move, file the properly executed codicil with the Register of Wills Office as well. Regularly reviewing your will with our lawyers is wise, as new methods of transferring property and assets might arise that you might be able to use to the advantage of your beneficiaries and estate.

Registering your will can also make things easier for your family after your death. Wills must be filed with this office in order for the probate process to begin. If you do not do this yourself, your loved ones will have to after your death. This can be challenging, especially if they live in another state. So, get it done right after you move to Maryland.

If you have trusted family or friends in Maryland, it might be time to update the personal representative of your will. This might make it easier for your personal representative to handle probate after your death. You can have a personal representative who lives out of state, but they must have a Maryland resident to represent them and act as their agent during probate.

Call Our Maryland Attorneys Today

You can call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to set up a free and confidential case assessment with our Ellicott City, MD wills and estate planning lawyers.