Is a UK Will form valid in the U.S.?

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Is a UK Will form valid in the U.S.?

I am British by birth and might relocate to U.K. However, I am also a U.S. citizen. I currently reside in VA. If I use a UK Will form to name my executors sister and niece in U.K. with the witnesses being local here, will that cause raise any problems supposing that I were to die while over here?

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you are very old or seriously ill or prone to engage in hazardous activity, it is often a good idea to regard a Will as something "temporary" that you will repeatedly change as circumstances change. If you're living in Virginia it would be a good idea to do a Will or Living Trust that comports with Virginia law now, especially if you own a home in Virginia. That's where your Will would be filed for probate and the estate administered. It would be a lot easier.
If and when you move to the UK or another state, by all means, prepare a new Will there. Even if you don't move, re-evaluate what's in the Will and make revisions 5 years down the road. A properly witnessed new Will replaces the old.
Be aware that for most people a Will may be less important than making sure there are proper benficiary designations on things such as life insurance, retirement savings plans, POD savings and stock brokerage accounts, as frequently the life insurance, retirement and investment accounts account for the bulk of peoples' assets that pass on death.
If you own a home, it too could be put in a living trust that would pass to your chosen heirs on death, without probate. 


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