Consider your will when getting a divorce

Previous posts on this blog have detailed the need for you to see to your estate planning while you still can. If you have already completed this process by creating a will, congratulations. However, you should know that the word “completed” used in this context is misleading. We here at Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews are constantly reminding our clients that the estate planning process is never truly over. As the years pass, your circumstances in North Canton are bound to change. Many of those changes should prompt you to revisit your will and update its terms to reflect your current situation.

Say, for example, that you and your spouse create a will, but then you later divorce. If you never amend your will and leave your ex-spouse as your primary beneficiary, does that mean that he or she will inherit your estate assets when you die? Fortunately, Ohio lawmakers have foreseen such a scenario and thus enacted legislation to address it. In Section 5815.33(B)(1) of the state’s Revised Code, it says that an annulment or dissolution or marriage automatically revokes any terms of your will that designate your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. In a legal sense, he or she is viewed the same as if he or she had preceded you in death.

This does not mean, however, that you should not revisit your will after your divorce. The revocation referenced above only applies to your spouse. What if you had children with your first spouse, then remarried and had others? If you specifically named only the children from your first marriage as beneficiaries in your will, you may exclude your current spouse and other children from receiving any of your assets.

You can learn more about making changes to your will by continuing to explore our site.