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When I Move To Delaware Will My Out-of-state Will Still Be Valid?

Relocating to a new state is always a good time to revisit your estate planning documents.

Attorney Kevin Baird joins Delaware real estate broker Kathy Sperl-Bell of Active Adults Realty, with an important discussion about your out-of-state will and other important estate planning documents. Will they still be valid? Watch to find out!


Kathy Sperl-Bell: When I move to Delaware will my will move with me? Hi, this is Kathy Sperl-Bell at Active Adults Realty in Delaware and with me today is Kevin Baird. Kevin is the managing partner at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt, Attorneys at Law, and Kevin specializes in estate planning as well as business and corporate litigation. Good guy to know.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: So Kevin, several of our agents have told me that the question they get is just that, "Does my will move with me? If I move to Delaware do I need to have a new will drawn?"

Kevin Baird: That's a great question Kathy, the short answer to that is yes. The good news is, is that we have many clients that come in from out of state, relocate here, because it's a wonderful state to be and it's a great place to retire, and when you bring your out-of-state will with you it will absolutely be honored here in Delaware.

Kevin Baird: Now, that doesn't mean that it's not a good time to revisit these things. It's a good time when you move to a new state to review your will, to bring it to an attorney and make sure that it complies with our laws, and if it doesn't it's usually a simple update to make sure that it does. But in the event that you do not, the good news is that your will, will work here in Delaware, even if it's from out of state.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: Now aren't there some other things they might want to look at? Some other health care directives, things like that?

Kevin Baird: Yeah, that's an excellent question. That's the important one, yes. When you move to a state that you have no documents in, in addition to your will, like Kathy pointed out correctly, you want to make sure that you have a health care directive, and in some states that's called a living will, and a durable power of attorney. Those are documents that we use as part of your complete estate planning package to allow you to prepare for incapacity. So in the event that you're alive but become incapacitated, you want to have the people you trust making your medical decisions for you, as well as handling your financial affairs.

Kevin Baird: And so those documents, again, will be valid here if you bring them in from another state, as long as they were valid in the state in which they were created. But it's always a good idea, if possible, to have documents, your health care directive and your power of attorney, in particular, to be local to your state. Because in the event something does happen to you, it's likely that you're going to be in a Delaware health care facility or a Delaware hospital, or your doctor's a Delaware doctor, or your financial institution's here. And having those documents that the local institutions or hospitals are familiar with will help smooth things along.

Kevin Baird: So again, it's certainly not legally required but it's a best practice to do so.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: And I would guess that there are times that someone realizes their will needs to be updated anyway.

Kevin Baird: Right.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: So if you're relocating at retirement, that might be a good trigger point.

Kevin Baird: Absolutely.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: Just make sure to sit down and check that everything's up to date.

Kevin Baird: Yes, moving is always a good time to refresh things and one of the benefits to working with Active Adults Realty is that all Active Adults Realty customers get a 100% free consultation with me, right across the street in beautiful downtown Lewes. So, another benefit.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: And they are right across the street, which is great.

Kevin Baird: And if everything looks great and you don't need anything, we'll tell you that. Otherwise, it's a good idea and a good opportunity to just do that free checkup, as Kathy had recommended.

Kathy Sperl-Bell: Thank you very much Kevin. And as Kevin said, because Active Adult Realty works with all people, more like my age, not his age, we want to make sure that you think through all of these questions when you're relocating and moving here to Delaware.

Do you have a question about retiring Delaware, real estate in Delaware or anything else? Active Adults Realty wants to hear from you! Your question can be featured on our Ask The Broker video series. Please submit your questions directly by visiting here.

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