Estate Planning: Adjusting Your Estate After Divorce
Divorce is a legal action that impacts much more than simply the couple’s relationship. Divorce also has a major impact on the couple’s estate planning, including any wills. While each state has specific laws regarding divorce and estate planning, including Texas, speaking with an attorney that specializes in estate planning is important after any major life changes. Here, the experts at Davidson Law Group will discuss some of the general impacts that divorce can have on your estate planning.
How Does Divorce Impact Your Estate Plan?
Chapter 123 of the Estates Code discusses the dissolution of marriage in regard to wills and estate planning. The code states the following:
If, after the testator makes a will, the testator’s marriage is dissolved by divorce, annulment, or a declaration that the marriage is void, unless the will expressly provide otherwise: all provisions in the will, including all fiduciary appointments, shall be read as if the former spouse and each relative of the former spouse who is not a relative of the testator had failed to survive the testator
In other words, after the divorce is finalized, the court will treat the ex-spouse as if they are already deceased and will move on to the next names on the list. However, this is only the case if the will is probated through the court. If the Will is dealt with privately, there is no guarantee that the divorce will be honored.
As such, even with laws protecting your estate after a divorce, it is important that you meet with an estate planning attorney so that you can make your estate plans legally official.
Texas law revokes spousal provisions, so it is important to update your will if you want certain provisions to stay in place. For example, imagine Bob and Linda, a married couple, create their wills together. They name Linda’s brother, Fred, as their executor. Bob and Linda get a divorce, and Bob dies shortly afterward. According to Texas law, Fred will be disqualified from serving as executor as he is a blood relative of Linda, even if Fred and Linda have an amicable divorce and Bob and Fred remain friends. Since Bob did not update his will after the divorce, even if he wanted Fred to remain as executor, the law in Texas would move on to the next person in line.
Related Post: Signs That You Should Consider Estate Planning
Need Your Estate Planning Updated?
Our estate planning attorneys are experts on Texas law and can help you with any updates or changes you need. If you are interested in learning more, contact the Davidson Law Group in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.