Are Wills legally binding from state-to-state?

So if a person has Will regisistered in one state but dies in another, does it have to be probated or is it universally enforceable with only one living heir?

Asked on March 7, 2013 under Estate Planning, District of Columbia

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are several questions within your question.  Wills are almost always binding from state to state.  There are a few exceptions but they are rare.

When you say the will is "registered," I don't know what you mean.  Do you mean it was filed with a probate court in another state?  If so, the original will can be transferred from the court in one state to the court in another state.

To be "enforced," a will has to be "probated."  This means the will has to be "admitted to probate" in a court and then administered under court supervision.  This is so whether there is one or many heirs.  The will must be admitted to probate where the testator (deceased person) was living when she or he died.  If this is where the will is "registered," great.  If not, you will have to petition for an estate and get an order to transfer the will.

You need a lawyer to assist with this.  It is not something you can do yourself.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.