There are certain activities in life that Davie residents likely plan on only having to do once. Getting married and writing one’s will would like fall on that list. However, divorce may often rend moot the former; indeed, information shared by the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics shows that as recently as 2016, 79,677 divorces occurred in the state. The question then becomes what affect (if any) does divorce have on the latter?
Technically, it does not from the perspective that it disinherits one’s ex-spouse while stopping short of completely invalidating a will. Per Section 732.703 of Florida’s state statutes, any designation or stipulation in one’s will that provides payments to (or mandates that assets be transferred to) one’s ex-spouse is voided once a couple’s divorce becomes final. The other elements of the will remain intact. As far as the state is concerned, it would be as though the ex-wife preceded the testator in death. The law goes on to say that other potential inheritances are invalidated upon one’s divorce, as well. These include:
- Beneficiary designations on a life insurance policy
- Savings from employee benefit plans
- IRA disbursements
- Payable-on-death or transfer-on-death accounts
One’s rights to inherit assets through the state’s intestate succession guidelines also end when he or she gets divorced.
The fact that a testator does not have to worry about his or her ex-spouse inheriting his or her estate should not be seen as justification to do nothing to his or her will after his or her divorce becomes final. One’s will should be a current reflection of his or her personal and financial situations. Therefore, revisiting one’s will to modify to accommodate his or her new circumstances following divorce is recommended by estate planning experts.