Just Moved to Idaho. Is My Old Will or Trust Still Valid?

I routinely review Wills or Trusts created by other attorneys. The request for review may be caused by a desire to establish a relationship with Jeppesen Law, or because the potential client has recently relocated to Idaho.

For those potential clients who have moved into the area, there is a common concern that their estate planning documents are no longer valid, or that they need to be brought into alignment with Idaho’s laws to be considered valid.

Fear not. For most people, your Will or Trust will have the same validity in Idaho as it did from the state in which it was created. There is one major caveat. If your Will or Trust would not be considered valid in your former home state, it will not be considered valid here in Idaho.

Why would your California or Texas (for example) estate plan be valid in Idaho? The states have a policy of reciprocity, where each state will recognize and enforce a Will or Trust so long as it was valid when and where it was created (this is required by the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution).  So, even if the formalities of the originating state differ from those of Idaho, Idaho will still honor those documents.

However, a couple of the related documents that typically accompany a Will or Trust should be brought into compliance with Idaho law.  Those are Powers of Attorney and the Living Wills prepared in another state. Those documents should be updated when you move from one state to another.

Outside of having legal authority, if there are substantive changes that are needed or desired (changing Beneficiaries, Inheritance distributions, Personal Representatives, successor Trustees, for example), then an amendment of the document is required. (Marking up the old Will or Trust does not make the change valid.  In fact, doing so may actually cause the document to become invalid.)

Also, remember that funding your Trust includes the Trust holding title to your home. It is all too common for people with a Living Trust from another state to forget to place the title to their new Idaho home into the name of the trust when they move here. Failure to do so can result in the real property needing to go through Probate, which is often the primary reason you created your Trust.

If you moved to Idaho and would like to have your estate plan reviewed, or updated by an Estate Planning attorney here, request your Complimentary Initial Consultation with Jeppesen Law, PLLC. https://calendly.com/idahoestateplanning