What Parts of My Estate Plan Should I Update After Moving to or from New York?

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Even though preparing your estate planning documents probably took a lot of effort, it is best to reexamine them once you move to another state. This will be to ensure that they still align with your new state’s legal requirements because unfortunately, they likely will not. Read more about which parts of your estate plan may need to be updated and how an experienced Nassau County estate planning lawyer at Barrows Levy PLLC can help you with executing these changes.

Should I create a new estate plan if I move to or from New York?

Your will is considered a pivotal estate planning document, so you should look into updating it first. Most states have laws in place that consider a valid will as such across state borders. However, the below are specific rules in the state of New York that may counter this judgment:

  • Witnesses: requirements for the number of witnesses and what actions they need to take may vary by state.
    • In New York: two witnesses must be present at the signing of your will, and sometimes they must also sign a document to attest why they were there and what you declared.
  • Marital property: Community property states have different rules regarding marital property than common law states, which may muddle the statements in your original will.
    • In New York: as a common law state, New York follows the theory of equitable distribution, which means that each spouse owns the income they earn during the marriage as well as the right to manage the property in their name. This is different than community property states, in which spouses will generally own together anything they require while they are married.
  • Executor: requirements for who can serve as the executor of your will may vary by state.
    • In New York: a judge will not appoint an executor who is not a U.S. citizen and lives outside of the state. The one exception is if you name a coexecutor who is a resident of New York and the judge approves.
  • Probate: handling the issue of probate within your will may vary by state.
    • In New York: your will only needs to be probated if you die with assets valued at $50,000 or more.

If you recently made a move to New York, it is in your best interest to contact our firm today for feedback on the validity of your estate planning documents.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a highly experienced New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are ready to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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