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I currently live in Houston Texas, but is planning to move to Florida. Are WILLS performed differently in each state?

Houston, TX |

I would like to prepare a WILL but would hate to start a WILL in Texas and then have it changed in Florida. Can the WILL stay "As is" after I move and live in Florida? Or does it have to be revised? I am wanting not to pay legal fees for updating the WILL. Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3


Generally, the laws regarding the requirements for a valid will are similar from state to state. However, there are issues that do arise from time to time. For example, I once probated a will drafted in NJ in TX. The TX court would not accept the attorney notarizaton, which was valid in NJ, and treated the will as being non self-proved. We needed then to take testimony from the original will witnesses to get the will admitted to probate or initiate a choice-of-law, full faith and credit argument with the court. The major problem, though, is that wills tend to describe certain powers that an executor has in relation to a specific state's statutes. It is here that I can foresee more potential problems along with the formalities problems that can arise as mentioned above. Safest route: find an estate planning attorney licensed in both Texas and Florida to draft you a will that would be valid in both jurisdictions. Barring that, I would recommend executing a new will once you move.

If this response was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. The response provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice, nor does it establish or intend to establish an attorney-client relationship. You should always speak with a licensed attorney regarding your legal rights before taking or not taking any particular action.

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A valid Texas will would be valid in Florida. However, because the laws of each state are different, you would need to have Texas will reviewed to determine whether revisions were necessary to facilitate the probate process in Florida. You would be better off doing a funded revocable trust with a pour over will to accomplish your planning.

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The validity of a Will is determined under the law of the state in which it is executed. The manner in which it is probated is controlled by the law of the state in which property is located. That said, if you have a Will written in one state you should have it reviewed by a trusts and estates attorney in the state into which you move.

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