The Effect of Marriage and Divorce on Your Will

A will is a legal document that sets forth the wishes of a person once they pass away. Some people think that once the will is created, it will remain valid until further changes are made, but it’s not true. Many events can affect the will, including marriage and divorce. Let’s find out more.

The effect of Marriage on your Will

Under California law, a marriage automatically invalidates any existing will. It means that if you marry, your pre-existing will or trust is revoked and no longer remains enforceable unless it has a clause that indicates explicitly to provide for a spouse. As a result, the spouse will be entitled to receive the intestate share of your estate after you pass away.

It’s highly recommended that you make a will as soon as you get married or even before the marriage to avoid disputes later on. You can add a clause stating “‘in anticipation of marriage to [the potential spouse name]” to make sure the new will is only enforceable once you’re officially married to that person.

An illustration

For instance, Robert has an adult child by a previous marriage and three grandchildren. He left all the estate to them by drafting a will. Then he gets married to Kate, who has two adult children. However, he doesn’t make a new will after the marriage and unfortunately passes away. In that case, all of his estate pass to Kate, as the former will is invalided.

The effect of Divorce on your Will

Divorce also has an impact on your will. It negates any dispositions in a will or trust to the former spouse unless it’s clearly stated in your will or trust that you wanted your former spouse to keep the specified asset even after you get divorced. Again, it’s recommended that once you’re divorced, you should create a new will without any delay.


Children and Will

Marriage and divorce aren’t the only two events that automatically change your current last will. If you have a child and you don’t update your previous will, the child will be eligible to receive a share of your estate. In essence, your previous will is canceled; therefore, it’s important to consult your lawyer and keep your will updated time-to-time.

If you want to create a new will after your marriage or divorce in Chico, California, and searching for a professional estate planning lawyer, we can help! At the Law Offices of Ron Marquez, our professional lawyer will formulate a will or trust to help you divide your assets as per your own free will.  

Call us at 530-332-8110 to find out more!

Disclaimer: This blog does not provide legal advice and written for information purposes only. Reading the content of this blog or information contained on this site, or the transmission of information from or to this site does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


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