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Do I need to change my will after divorce?

| Jul 6, 2021 | Estate Planning

Divorce involves many legal procedures, and you may be wondering whether you need to make some changes to your will as well. Now that you are not legally married, you do not want your assets and property to go to your ex-spouse. However, even if you had appointed your ex as a beneficiary of your estate, you do not need to create a new will to eliminate their right to your assets.

Revocation in Tennessee

Divorce or annulment will revoke any appointment of property made by the will to your former spouse. By filing for divorce, your ex will immediately lose the right to the property and assets that you had previously appointed to them in your will. You must keep in mind that for revocation to be effective, you must annul your marriage. A decree of separation does not terminate the status of marriage. Your ex would only receive part of your estate if you remarry them in the future.

When it is necessary to change your will

No one gets into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, so if you specified that you wanted your ex to remain a beneficiary of your estate even in the event of divorce, you need to change it. You can decide to make changes to your current will or create a new one.

Important considerations

Some assets can pass outside of a will, so you may need to make some changes in other legal documents you have. To officially leave your ex-spouse out of the picture, you need to remove them as beneficiaries in your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and pay-on-death bank accounts. You do not need to notify your former spouse of these changes. Once you effectively remove your ex as a beneficiary, they will lose control over your assets, benefits and property.