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Home > Blog > Estate Planning > Is An Out-Of-State Will Still Recognized As Valid In New York?

Is An Out-Of-State Will Still Recognized As Valid In New York?


America is a mobile society. According to data from The New York Times, approximately 40 percent of people nationwide live in a different state than the one that they were born in. You may be wondering: Is my will still valid if I moved to New York? The general answer is “yes”—though it is a good time to review, and potentially revise, your will. Here, our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys explain the most important things that you should know if you created your will in another state.

A Will From Another State is Still Valid in New York (Full Faith and Credit Clause)

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that wills—and other estate planning documents—are presumed to be valid across the U.S. states. Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution (the Full Faith and Credit clause) holds that public acts, records, and judicial proceedings from one state are valid in all states. Your will remains valid when you move to New York from another state.

 You Should Still Ensure that Your Will Conforms to New York State Requirements 

While your will is presumed to be valid, you do not want to risk any potential conflicts. It is a best practice to take a moment to ensure that your will conforms to the New York State requirements for making a valid will. Specifically, your will should be:

  1. In writing;
  2. Signed and dated; and
  3. Witnessed by at least two competent people.

Unlike some other U.S. states, New York does not recognize oral wills. If you have an oral will and you move to New York, it is imperative that you get things down in writing. While legal documents from other states are valid, an oral declaration that may have been considered a valid will in another state is not going to be recognized as legally enforceable in New York.

 A Move to a New State is a Great Time to Review (and Maybe Revise) a Will 

Did you move to New York City or its suburbs from another state? It is a good time to have your will reviewed by an experienced estate planning. You should review your will on a periodic basis and after major life events. A relocation is a great time to review—and if needed, revise—a will. You want to ensure that your will and other estate planning documents still meet your needs and goals.

 Get Help From Our New York City Estate Planning Attorney Today

At Cavallo & Cavallo, our New York estate planning lawyers are experienced advocates for people and families. If you have any specific questions about reviewing or revising your will, we are here to help. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online for your completely confidential consultation. With legal offices in The Bronx and New Rochelle, we provide estate planning representation in New York City, Westchester County, and throughout the wider region.



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