Is a Will written and recorded in one state valid in another?

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2013

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Is a Will written and recorded in one state valid in another?

Asked on July 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, Georgia


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on how your will was signed. A will can be created in 2 ways. It can be formally executed by being signed in the presence of witnesses (the number of witnesses varies from state to state). Or it can be written in the person's own handwriting and signed by them, regardless of whether there were any witnesses. This second kind is called a holographic will.

For the first kind of will, as long as it was executed according to the laws of the state where it was signed, it is acceptable in most other states. However, only a handful of states will accept the second kind of will.

So, a properly witnessed will signed in one state is probably valid in another state. A holographic will signed in one state may not be valid in another state. 

By the way, there is no requirement that a will be recorded (however, it may be filed in probate court after the person dies). 

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