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New Jersey Employment Lawyers > Blog > Estate Planning > Does New York Recognize Wills from Other States?

Does New York Recognize Wills from Other States?


A significant percentage of American adults do not live in the state where they were born. According to the latest data cited by U.S. News and World Report, nearly half of Americans have changed their state of residency. If you moved to New York, you may be wondering: Is my will still valid? The short answer is “yes”—New York recognizes wills that were made in other states. At the same time, a move to a new state is a great time to get your estate plan reviewed. Within this article, our New Jersey and York estate planning lawyers explain the most important things to know about out-of-state wills.

Know the Law: Will from Other State Still Valid in New York 

In the United States, each individual state has a general responsibility to accept as valid the official documents of other states. Your driver’s license from New Jersey is still valid when you enter New York—though you should get it updated when you make a permanent move. Wills are not tied to particular states. When you move to New York, your will drafted in another state remains legally valid if it was properly executed according to the laws of that state. As long as your will meets the requirements set forth by New York law, there should not be any problem using it. In New York State, a will should be:

  • Written;
  • Signed; and
  • Witnessed (two people).

The Bottom Line: Your will is still valid when you move to New York. There is no legal reason to throw out your will and start over.

 A Move to New York City is Time to Get Your Will Reviewed 

If you moved to New York City or the surrounding area in New York from another state, it is a good time to get your will reviewed. An estate should be reviewed on a regular basis. A move to a new state is a great opportunity to review—and, if needed, revise—your will. Here are three reasons why you may need to change your will after a move:

  1. Confirmation Will Still Achieves Goals: Reviewing your will upon moving to New York ensures it still reflects your current intentions and estate planning goals.
  2. New York Specific Estate Planning Issues: New York has unique estate planning laws, including specific rules about executor residency and spousal rights.
  3. Adjustment for Any Major Life Changes: Relocating to New York City is an ideal time to update your will to account for major life changes, such as new assets, marriage, or children.

 Contact Our New York City Will Attorney for Immediate Help

At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New York City estate planning lawyer has extensive experience drafting and revising wills. If you recently moved to New York City and you have any questions about updating your will, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a confidential consultation. From our Manhattan office, we are well-positioned to serve communities throughout the wider region.



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