Many individuals have spent extensive time living in other states before relocating to Illinois. These new residents come here for various reasons, including going to college, starting a new chapter in their life or moving their business.
It’s not uncommon for the individuals who come here to Illinois already have an estate plan that they’ve put in place in another state. Many testators get the impression that any estate plan they drafted in another state is valid when they get there. That’s often not the case, though.
Why aren’t estate plans valid in multiple states?
Some estate planning documents contain the same language, no matter the jurisdiction. Also, while each state has different laws on the books for what constitutes a valid will and other documents, often the laws are similar. While there’s a chance that your estate planning documents from another state will also be valid here in Illinois, you don’t want to take your chances and guess about this.
What if your estate planning documents are invalid in Illinois?
Everyone needs to regularly reassess their estate planning documents to ensure that they reflect their wishes and comply with the most recent laws. Your failure to do so could result in a probate judge invalidating them and ordering the executor of your estate to distribute your assets per Illinois intestate succession rules instead.
All the plans that you had for eliminating your estate and heirs’ tax burdens could be all for nothing if you don’t take the extra step of regularly reviewing your estate plan or ensuring that it adheres to your new state’s laws. Don’t let all your hard work in amassing your estate and plans to care for your loved ones long after you’re gone go to waste by making this oversight.