Justin Jeppesen: Out of State Will or Trust. Is it Valid Here in Idaho?

Reviewing Wills or Trusts created by other attorneys in other states is a common occurrence in my practice. This is often motivated by a desire to establish a relationship with Jeppesen Law, and because the client has moved to the Boise, Meridian, or Eagle, Idaho area from another state.

A common concern for people that have just moved to Idaho is that their estate planning documents are no longer valid, or that their Will needs to be brought into alignment with Idaho’s laws to be considered valid.

Put aside your worry, as your Will or Trust will be valid in Idaho. As always, there is one major caveat. If your Will or Trust was not valid in your former home state, it will not be considered valid here in Idaho.

As an example, why would your California or Illinois estate plan be valid in Idaho? Reciprocity. 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.  This is true, even if the technicalities of the originating state differ from those of Idaho.  Idaho’s courts will still honor those documents.

However, a couple of the related documents that typically accompany a Will or Trust should be updated when you move to Idaho, or any other state for that matter.  Those are Powers of Attorney and the Living Wills prepared in other states.  I recommend these documents be updated when you move from one state to another.

If there are substantive changes that are needed or desired (such as 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.*

Please remember that your Trust only gives you the opportunity to avoid Probate. It is far 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. Failure to do so can result in the real property needing to go through Probate when you pass away. Often, this is 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 complimentary initial consultation, 208-477-1785.