Divorce can already be a stressful time without having to consider your sudden death as well. As such, divorce and your will legalities are not something you may want to consider together, but you should.
What does divorce mean for your will? What issues can arise and how protected are you?
To get all the legal mystery out of the way, we have a simple guide on what may occur when the forces of divorce and your will collide. Get the info you need below.
What Does Divorce Mean for Your Will
Divorce and your will are two major legal details that don’t always mix well. A lot of it can depend on where you are, and in some rare cases, even when things happened.
A lot of it comes down to alternatives. The more backup plans listed in the will, such as alternate benefactor or executor, the easier divorce can be on your will.
A basic will and testament will include all the details for how to proceed upon your death. You can dictate where each of your assets go and who dictates any decisions.
If you nominated your spouse at any part of this process and you haven’t changed your will since the divorce, things get awkward.
The most accepted idea is to remove your spouse from the proceedings. For this purpose, the will hearing considers your spouse as if they have passed before the will-maker. If you have nominated a secondary beneficiary, the asset goes to them.
This chain can continue down the line as far as needed, with death and divorce altering the recipients. If no secondary benefactor is in the will, then the asset will go to a residuary beneficiary, all unclaimed assets will go there.
This can also extend to children of a former spouse that are not your biological children.
If your spouse was the executor and you have no secondaries, the probate court will appoint one.
If your divorce is still pending, then the most common occurrence is the court will ignore the divorce for the will hearing.
State by State
The details of a will hearing can change from state to state. As always when dealing with complicated legal matters, double-check your state’s addendums for any official details.
The Court Mandated Probate
What is probate? A probate is a court-ordered session to help deconstruct and allocate assets of a will. This is a long proceeding to sort out assets, claims to those assets, and other legal matters.
Probate marks an official will session. As such, when complications like divorce come into play, they can help smooth out the details.
Most probates follow a code, but none of them must do so and some implement their own code to regulate methods. Again, this changes from state to state.
Dealing with Divorce and Beyond
We here at Divorce Help Legal answer the question, “What does divorce mean” for all aspects of your life. Divorce can be a convoluted situation and should be to the experts.
For all aspects of surrounding your divorce, trust us to be the professionals here to guide you through it. See all of our other guides and information to keep you informed.