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After my divorce, will my ex-spouse have a claim to my will?

In particularly contentious divorces, most couples can’t wait to get the process over with so that they can move on with their lives. But even though there is a desire to get things done quickly, this desire may not always trump a person’s desire to get it done right the first time. This may mean that they ask more specific questions about the divorce process and what will happen once the marriage has been dissolved or annulled.

One such question that you may want to ask yourself during the divorce process is one we are going to answer in this week’s blog post.

After my divorce, will my ex-spouse have a claim to my will?

The answer to this question depends heavily on the likelihood of you predeceasing your former spouse. Let’s take a look:

According to Section 69 of the Texas Probate Code, all provisions of a will including fiduciary appointments that name your former spouse become void after a marriage is dissolved. The law simply assumes that the former spouse has predeceased you, meaning they cannot make a claim to your will — unless otherwise stated in the will — once your divorce has been finalized.

It’s incredibly important to point out though that while a person could simply let this section of the Probate Code go into effect, this decision is ill advised. That’s because life is unpredictable and there is always a possibly that you could pass away before your divorce is finalized. This would mean that your ex-spouse may still have a claim when it comes to your will.

The long and the short of it is this: it’s typically considered a better idea to make changes to your will during a divorce to make sure that you do not predecease your former spouse before the process has been finalized. Otherwise, you run the risk of leaving them assets you may not want them to receive.

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