Is my last will and testament still valid if I get a divorce and why? 35 Answers as of May 19, 2015

Will my last will and testament remain valid if I get a divorce? Or rather, will I have to draft a new will and testament with an attorney?

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
If you are recently divorced, I would recommend executing a new will so there is a clear indication of who inherits and represents your estate.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/19/2015
Morelos Law Firm
Morelos Law Firm | Andrea Morelos
Your Will stays the same unless and until you change it execute what is called a codicil (which is like an amendment to the original one). I assume you are asking because you had included your wife, soon to be ex, in there and no longer want her in there. So yes, you should consult with an estate planning attorney right away to go over your current version and how to change it.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/18/2015
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, yes the will remains valid after divorce, though unless the will or divorce decree states differently provisions relating to your ex-spouse are revoked.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/18/2015
John Russo | John Russo
Wills are only valid when one event happens, you die, you can always change them, that is before you die.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 5/18/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Generally if your will names your spouse as a beneficiary.. then you will need to redo it to eliminate him or her from the beneficiary list if you want to change that provision If it specifically disclaims her as a beneficiary then possibly not.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/18/2015
    Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
    It would remain valid as you didn?t revoke it. However, there is a good chance that you would be leaving your ex-spouse your estate depending on how the document was written. Therefore, it would be advisable to at least review if not have a new will created and executed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    The specific answer depends on the state you live in. Generally, the document will still be valid but state law will determine if your ex is entitled to any of your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
    It remains valid in Florida,would be best to have it rewritten
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    It is still valid. Anything you may have left to your spouse, would lapse and go to contingent beneficiary or to the residuary. It is recommended to update the will to reflect the changes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    The Will remains valid, but I assume you want the terms and the amounts each beneficiary receives changed so you need at least a codicil to the Will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Per California Probate Code, 5601, 5602, 5604, the answer is no. Best for you to have new documents drawn up to restate your intentions for after death whether a will or a trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    You need to get a new will if you don't want a portion of your assets to go to the ex.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/18/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    The will is still valid. If it contains bequests to your former husband, you may want to change that.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's best to do a new will. The divorce revokes any provision in your will in favor of your former spouse; it might still work. However, a will cannot be fixed once you pass away, so it needs to be perfect; you should not fool around, but make a new will. Also, remember to check your beneficiary designations on IRAs, other retirement accounts, and life insurance. If your spouse is still named, they might take.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Generally no, but you need to speak with an attorney about what stage of the divorce you are in and if anything has been done during or since the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    In Missouri, the law is that if you get divorced, your ex-spouse is presumed to have predeceased you and would not be entitled to any of your estate. Your will is still determined to be valid. Usually spouses name each other as the personal representative. You may wish to update your last will and testament to name new personal representatives.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    It will still be valid if it is your will alone and not a joint will with your husband. You do not have to change it unless you want to change the bequeaths that you left in this will or if there is something that you purchased after the will was executed that you want to leave one of your beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
    The Will should still be 'valid', but once the dissolution is final then all provisions for the former spouse should be automatically revoked. If you still want the ex to inherit, then a new will is needed. Note that this does not necessary apply to non-probate assets, such as 401(k)'s, where the beneficiary designation would need to be changed. It is highly recommended that a new estate plan be created post-divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman | Robert P. Bergman
    When a final judgment of dissolution of marriage is entered, your Will (if it mentions your now ex-spouse) will remove that person as your heir. A new Will is recommended, however, so there is no uncertainty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    Its still valid. A will operates whether you are married or not, you can give your stuff to whoever you want! You might want to change the beneficiaries though?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    You do need to draft a new will. There is pending legislation that would make a divorce automatically revoke a will naming a former spouse beneficiary but it hasn't been enacted yet. Further, you will want to clarify who you do want to inherit and how much. Best wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    It is still valid. You should consult the attorney who drafted it about the modifications you want.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Be sure to draft a new will. The divorce is a major change in circumstances, and justifies a complete review of your will. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    A judgment of dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of the marriage of the testator revokes every legacy or interest or power of appointment given to or nomination as representative or trustee of the testator's former spouse in a will executed before the entry of the judgment of dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of marriage and the will takes effect in the same manner as if the former spouse had died before the testator. Even so, you should execute a new to avoid confusion and make clear who you want to receive a legacy in your will. This is particularly important if you have minor children and you want the ex-spouse to be the guardian of the minor children in the event you pass away first.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    This answer is specific to Ohio. Some other states have identical laws and some have different laws. In Ohio, if you write a will and later get a divorce, your ex-spouse will be treated as if he/she died before you. So if you're will says "Everything to my wife, but if she dies before me then everything to my children" Your ex-wife will be treated as having already died and everything will go to your kids.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally, the provisions which provide benefit to the wife are invalidated by a divorce in Michigan unless they are re-upped, post divorce. I would strongly suggest that you look into a new will and perhaps estate planning post divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    A divorce should prompt you to review your will and other estate planning documents with an attorney who specializes in estate planning.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    You should immediately contact your attorney to draft a new will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Ankerholz and Smith
    Ankerholz and Smith | Rian F. Ankerholz
    Under Kansas Probate law, if after making a will the testator marries and has a child, by birth or adoption, the will is thereby revoked. If after making a will the testator is divorced, all provisions in such will in favor of the testator's spouse so divorced are thereby revoked.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/15/2015
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