Update Beneficiary Designations After Divorce

Finding a new place to live, moving all of your possessions, opening a new bank account, updating insurance policies, are just a few of the many things one must do after a divorce is finalized. Another issue that arises after a divorce that may not immediately occur to you is the need to revise your Last Will and Testament. Many people don’t give much thought to another traumatic event, their passing.

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By not revising your Will after a divorce, you leave yourself and your loved ones open to legal battles that could take a chunk out of the estate you planned to leave as your legacy. This issue recently came up in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals.

A couple had finalized their divorce in October 2012 when one month later, the ex-husband passed away, having never revised his Will from 2005. In the Will, he left much of his estate to his then wife and her niece and nephew. After his death, the man’s mother contested the Will arguing that since her son was divorced at the time he died, the Will is null and void. A nearly three-year battle ensued, when finally, on July 1 of this year, the Court ruled in the mother’s favor.

The court sited Section 732.507(2), Florida Statutes (2012), which states: “Any provision of a will executed by a married person that affects the spouse of that person shall become void upon the divorce of that person or upon the dissolution or annulment of the marriage.” So, regardless of the man dying, the Will is deemed void as soon as the marriage is legally ended.

Had the man updated his Will immediately upon getting a divorce, he could have helped his mother avoid a costly court battle.

If you are in need of more information on this issue or other family law issues, email Keith@AtorneyGrossman.com, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?

 

     Posted on July 30, 2015 at 9:57 am | No comment

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