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Brentwood Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > What Happens If You Do Not Change Your Will After Divorce?

What Happens If You Do Not Change Your Will After Divorce?

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Even though most people understand the importance of drafting a will,  the majority of Americans do not have one. In fact, according to one survey, only 40 percent of adults throughout the United States have a will. Those who have a will often create it and then store it in a safe or at their lawyer’s office, and they never think about it again. There are times, though, when it is important to review your will and make changes when appropriate. One of those times is after you get a divorce.

Former Spouses are Not Beneficiaries

Even if you named your spouse as a beneficiary in your will, that provision is revoked immediately after your divorce is final. Even if you do not change your will after getting divorced, your former spouse will not receive any of your estate. In these cases, the law treats any former spouse named in a will as having died first. If you named your former spouse as an executor and then get a divorce, that portion of the will is also revoked.

Remarrying Revives a Will

If you get a divorce and do not change your will but remarry your former spouse, it revives the original will. If you did make changes to your will after getting a divorce and remarry your former spouse, it is important to review the new will. Making the necessary changes after remarrying your former spouse will ensure your last wishes are fulfilled should you pass away.

Children of Ex-Spouses are Not Entitled to Property of the Estate

Even though Tennessee law presumes that a former spouse died first when enforcing wills, children of the ex-spouse are not entitled to any property of the estate. Even if their parent would have received a portion of the estate had the divorce not occurred, children of former spouses cannot collect that property once a divorce does happen.

Separation Does Not Revoke a Will

Like most states, Tennessee recognizes legal separation. During a separation, the two spouses live separate and apart and act as though they are no longer married. However, they legally still are considered married. When there is no official divorce, the provisions of a will stand as they were written because the law does not presume the spouse named in the document died first. Due to this, it is especially important that separated spouses review their will and make any necessary changes.

Our Divorce Attorneys in Franklin Can Advise on the Details of Your Case

When going through a divorce, there is a lot to think about and it is important that you do not overlook the importance of reviewing your estate plan. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Franklin divorce attorneys can advise on every aspect of your case to ensure that your best interests are protected throughout the process, and post-divorce. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.

Sources:

aarp.org/money/investing/info-2017/half-of-adults-do-not-have-wills.html

casetext.com/statute/tennessee-code/title-36-domestic-relations/chapter-4-divorce-and-annulment/section-36-4-101-grounds-for-divorce-from-bonds-of-matrimony

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