Can Your Former Spouse Inherit From Your Estate?

Posted on: Categories: Divorce Law

One aspect of divorce many couples do not give much thought to is what happens to their estates after the divorce. Once a divorce is complete, many people suddenly realize their spouse is provided for in their will, or begin to worry about whether their ex will receive any assets from their estate after they pass. An experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you prevent these problems in the first place! Read on to learn more about how Florida handles this situation, as well has how the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Blair H. Chan, III, PLLC can help you prevent this problem from happening in the first place.

What Does Florida Divorce Law Say About My Ex Inheriting My Assets?

In Florida, if your former spouse is named in your will or trust, the law will treat them as if they died before you when it comes to your estate. This means that even if your ex is in your will or trust, they usually receive nothing from it after a judge approves your dissolution of marriage.

It is never a good idea to take a “wait and see” approach, of course, meaning that it is much better to proactively remove your former spouse from all of your estate planning documents as soon as possible. Many estate plans have provisions requiring them to be reviewed at the start of a divorce, and an experienced Florida divorce attorney will make sure that your wills, trusts, and other assets are reviewed once you begin the divorce process. Even in these situations, however, your former spouse may still try to fight for your assets after you pass away, but proactively removing them from your estate planning documents will ensure they do not have a valid claim.

A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Can Help Prevent This Problem

One of the best ways to prevent your former spouse from trying to pursue your assets after you die is to have an experienced and knowledgeable Florida family law attorney help you and your spouse draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement, known colloquially as a prenup, is created before a couple legally weds and outlines in a legally binding document what happens in the event the couple divorces. A postnuptial agreement, often called a postnup, has the same effect, however it is created after a couple has legally married.

The benefit of a prenup or postnup is that it takes the guess work out of a divorce: both you and your spouse know what happens in the event you separate, and it often makes the separation process easier in terms of time and emotional conflict. An experienced family law attorney can work with you and your fiancé or spouse to create mutually agreeable provisions describing the effect of a divorce upon your estate plans and your spouse’s ability to serve as your durable power of attorney.

Need a Prenup or Postnup? Questions About the Effect of Your Divorce?

Divorce is not easy, but the process can be made easier. If you are interested in a prenup or postnup, or you have questions about how your divorce will impact other areas of your life, the attorneys at Blair H. Chan III, PLLC, are ready to help. Contact us today.