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If I Had a Will or Trust Prepared in Another State, Do I Need to Have Those Documents Revised Now That I Live Here?

As a general rule, Wills and Family Trusts created in other states do not need to be revised when a person moves to Idaho. Idaho recognizes wills and trusts from all other states regardless of whether they were drafted and signed with the same formalities required of trusts created in this state.

So, unless you have specific changes that you would like to make to your Will or Trust — for example, changing beneficiaries, Trustees, or Executors — there should be no need to have those documents reviewed simply because you have recently moved to Idaho.

Having said that, there are a few details in related documents that you may need to update:

Living Wills & Powers of Attorney

Until recently, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills created in another state did need to be updated in order to be Idaho-compliant. That need has virtually disappeared under a new statute enacted in 2015. Under that statute, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney created in another state will be given full effect here in Idaho so long as they were valid when and where created.

Having said that, the one exception that makes an update of your Power of Attorney and your Living Will a good idea is this: If your documents were created before 2006, then they probably need to be updated to include a HIPPA authorization. That authorization is what permits your doctors to discuss your medical situation and history with the person you’ve named as your agent under your Power of Attorney. It is crucial for your medical Power of Attorney and Living Will to include an explicit authorization under the HIPPA statutes to provide the maximum benefit to you. So, if you don’t see some reference in your documents to “HIPPA,” then an update is in order.

In addition, if your Power of Attorney does not become effective unless you become mentally or physically incapacitated, I would encourage you to consider having it re-drafted. The better approach is to have a Power of Attorney that is available any time the need arises, rather than putting your loved ones through the additional stress of having you declared incapacitated. Since the Power of Attorney is revocable at any time, if you suspect there may be a problem with the person you’ve named as your agent under a document you’ve signed, you can simply revoke it and eliminate any such risk.

In summary, if you are still satisfied with the persons to whom you will be leaving all your property and belongings and the persons you have named as your Executor and/or your successor Trustee, then there should be no need to have your out-of-state Family Trust or Last Will and Testament reviewed by an Idaho Attorney.

But if you have a Living Will and/or a Medical Power of Attorney which were prepared without inclusion of the necessary HIPPA authorization, it may be wise to have those documents reviewed and updated.

Otherwise, welcome to Idaho!

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