I have written before that a move to another state can trigger a need to update your will. It’s not necessarily because the move invalidates the will. Generally, a will signed in accordance with the laws of one state would remain valid if you move to Texas.

Why is it important to have your will updated?

Texas has unique procedures and laws that can simplify probate and can affect the distribution of your estate.

Texas allows a testator to request an independent administration when the testator provides in his or her will that there should be no action in the probate court in the settlement of the estate other than the probating and recording the will and the return of an inventory, appraisement, and the list of claims of his estate or an affidavit in lieu of an inventory. Independent administrations usually involve only one court hearing and the filing of an inventory or an affidavit in lieu thereof, which simplifies the probate process.

Additionally, Texas wills can include a self-proving affidavit. The self-proving affidavit affirms that the will was properly signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who observed the testator sign his will and heard him say that it was his last will and testament. The benefit of a self-proving affidavit is that it eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in a probate proceeding to testify about the validity of a will, which saves time and expense. Some states do not permit the use of a self-proving affidavit.

While the Will you made in another state may be valid in Texas, it is not likely to be as effective as one specifically drafted to take advantage of Texas’ probate process. Having a Will tailored to this state’s laws will ensure that your estate is handled in the most expeditious manner and your property is distributed according to your wishes.

This article was originally published on February 27, 2012, and updated on January 1, 2023.

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