I would love to say yes, because that would mean I’d make more money as a wills lawyer. However, in many cases, a move does not justify redoing your will. If you are simply moving to another part of the city, or to another city within the same province, changing your will is likely unnecessary.

However, if you are moving to another province, especially Ontario or Quebec, you may want to chat with a wills lawyer in that province. In Ontario, probate fees are based on the size of the estate being probated. And the probate fees in Ontario are not cheap. For this reason, people in Ontario will bend over backwards to arrange things so that their assets do not have to be dealt with through the probate process. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details, but dual wills, trusts, and joint ownership of assets are common strategies. If you move to Ontario, consult with a lawyer in Ontario.

In Quebec, the legal system is entirely different, based on French civil law rather than on English common law. For that reason, you should definitely meet with a Quebec wills lawyer if you move to that province.

If you move to another country, you should probably also check with a wills lawyer in that country, perhaps even before you move. Even if your will from Alberta is still legally valid in the country you end up moving to, there may be legal and tax issues you should be aware of. For example, the United States has a pretty hefty estate tax. There may be exceptions and loopholes, but you should know what you’re getting into.

You may also want to change your will if your move is prompted by an important change in your life such as marriage or divorce. A change in marital status will almost always justify revisiting your will.

Selling one home and purchasing another within the same province will in some cases warrant modifying your will, but in many or even most cases it will not. If you have specified in your existing will that your former home is to go to a particular person, and you no longer own your old home, that certainly justifies a modification to your will. However, wills are commonly worded more generally, so that a beneficiary will receive a share or percentage of your estate, rather than a specific piece of property. If your will is worded in a general way, such that your former home is not specifically mentioned, you likely don’t need to worry about changing your will.