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

I am often asked to review Wills or Trusts created by other attorneys. This may be caused by a desire to establish a relationship with Jeppesen Law, or because the client has moved to the Boise, Meridian, or Eagle, Idaho area.

For those that have moved into the area, there tends to be a concern that their estate planning documents are no longer valid, or that they need to be brought into alignment with Idaho’s laws to be considered valid.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, in most cases, your Will or Trust will have the same validity in Idaho as it did from the state in which it was created. 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 Illinois (for example) estate plan be valid in Idaho? The states have policies 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.  So even if the technicalities 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 other states.  Those documents should be updated when you move from one state to another.

However, 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. *Simply marking up the old Will or Trust does not make the change.  In fact, doing so may actually cause the document to become invalid.*

Also, remember that funding your Trust includes the Trust holding title to the deed of 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 one of the primary reasons you created the Trust.

If you moved to Idaho and would like to have your estate plan reviewed, updated, or just to create a relationship with an Estate Planning attorney here, contact Jeppesen Law to schedule a free initial consultation, 208-477-1785.