Are My Estate Planning Documents from Another State Valid in Arizona

Becky Cholewka: One of my questions that I get most when I go out and do public speaking is, “Becky, I’ve moved from another state, and is my document from that state going to be valid here?” When we’re talking about legal documents, your document can be a valid legal document if it was executed in another state properly.

The thing with wills and trusts, wills and trusts will be accepted here in Arizona even if they were executed from another state. Our court system will recognize them. We’re just going to follow the rules that that state has put forth for whatever their wills or trusts are.

When it comes to documents like powers of attorney, those could still be validly executed documents, however, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be accepted or will work here. There are state specific rules that each state will lay out regarding powers of attorney.

Here in Arizona, we have some very specific rules, especially regarding our health care power of attorney. We have not only a health care power of attorney but also what’s called a mental health care power of attorney.

If you have a healthcare document from another state, and you move here, it more than likely isn’t going to work fully for you here under our Arizona laws. It’s always good, when you move from another state, to have your documents reviewed by an attorney in the state that you have now moved to.

They’ll be able to go over and make sure that whatever you currently have will work in the state or jurisdiction that you now live. Hope that helps, and it answers another one of my frequently asked questions.