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Should you update your will when you move to a new state?

Many legal analysts recommend that individuals not hold off in drafting their wills until they're advanced in age. It's common for people to do so, though. Many would-be testators wait until they're about to retire to draft their wills. They then often pick up and move to another state. What many of these retirees don't stop and take time to do when they get settled in their new home is to revisit their wills. It's critical that they do so, though.

Most wills will hold up across state lines. Even still, there are some instances in which you may have to redraft your will to comply with the laws in your new state.

You may have to select a new executor of your estate once you move, as many state laws require your personal representative to reside in the same jurisdiction that you do. South Carolina, fortunately, doesn't have laws on the books prohibiting you from having an out-of-state executor; however, it may in your best interest not to have one.

There's a significant amount of legwork that your personal representative must put in on the ground where you last resided. It could be both cost-prohibitive and a logistical nightmare for an out-of-state executor to administer your estate after you're gone. The court could appoint a personal representative of their choosing if the one that you select isn't able to uphold their duties.

Laws and rules surrounding the drafting of wills and estate planning documents such as powers of attorney and advance medical directions are ever-changing. They may have to be written in a certain way or remain in effect for a limited time.

There are different types of wills. These include holographic, or handwritten, and nuncupative, or oral, wills. There are also typewritten wills that an attorney prepares. Not all types are valid in every state. Witness requirements vary depending on what type of will it is.

Testators take time and draft wills because they have specific goals in mind as to what they want to happen with their possessions once they're gone. The best thing you can do if you've recently relocated to Bluffton is to have an attorney review your legal document to make sure that you've executed it per South Carolina laws. By doing this, you'll ensure that everything goes as planned once you're gone.

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