Is a UK Will form valid in the U.S.?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a UK Will form valid in the U.S.?

I am British by birth and might relocate to U.K. However, I am also a U.S. citizen. I currently reside in VA. If I use a UK Will form to name my executors sister and niece in U.K. with the witnesses being local here, will that cause raise any problems supposing that I were to die while over here?

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless you are very old or seriously ill or prone to engage in hazardous activity, it is often a good idea to regard a Will as something "temporary" that you will repeatedly change as circumstances change. If you're living in Virginia it would be a good idea to do a Will or Living Trust that comports with Virginia law now, especially if you own a home in Virginia. That's where your Will would be filed for probate and the estate administered. It would be a lot easier.
If and when you move to the UK or another state, by all means, prepare a new Will there. Even if you don't move, re-evaluate what's in the Will and make revisions 5 years down the road. A properly witnessed new Will replaces the old.
Be aware that for most people a Will may be less important than making sure there are proper benficiary designations on things such as life insurance, retirement savings plans, POD savings and stock brokerage accounts, as frequently the life insurance, retirement and investment accounts account for the bulk of peoples' assets that pass on death.
If you own a home, it too could be put in a living trust that would pass to your chosen heirs on death, without probate. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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