The lawyer who write my will did not ask for my ID

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The lawyer who write my will did not ask for my ID

The lawyer who write my will did not ask for my ID and I did not LIVE in the state where it was written. He also did not tell me that wills are state specific. I am VERY upset that now I have to pay AGAIN in the state I NOW live in to make a new will. Also, must my driver license be used? I still have an unexpired DL in another state where I rent property. So I live in one state, but will kept my DL in another until it expires. What should I do?

Asked on May 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While each state has its own requirements to form a legal Will, so long as it was valid in the state in which it was execured, a Will is valid in any other state. Further, a lawyer is not required under the law to ask a "testator" (i.e. the person making the Will) for their identification.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You do not have to make a new will: wills are not state-specific in the way you mean. Yes, each state has its own criteria for *creating* a will in that state, but every state is legally bound (e.g. by the Constitution) to respect and enforce valid wills from other states. Therefore, as long as the will was properly created in the state where it was made, it is valid everywhere else in the country. 
The law does not require that the lawyer drafting your will ask for your ID; a failure to do so does not invalidate it either.
What you describe is accordingly not legal malpractice.


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