2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 700, Arlington, Virginia 22201

FAQ #6

6. I get a lot of invitations to estate-planning “seminars” at my summer place across the country. Is it okay for a lawyer there to prepare my paperwork?

It may not be illegal but is certainly ill-advised, unless that lawyer has another in the office or is consulting with a lawyer licensed in the state where you have your primary residence, as evidenced by your voting registration, driver’s license, etc. (your “domicile”). Wills, trusts, probate, incapacity, real estate and similar areas of law, as well as certain tax laws, are especially local in character.

For example, they differ in the laws of inheritance, the rules applying to trusts, and the formats (legality) of documents, including powers of attorney and medical directives. There are also significant differences in family-law rules that may apply to estate planning.