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Is a will affected by divorce in California?

Even with all the information on the Internet, a lot of people are still caught off guard by all the things they have to consider when it comes to the divorce process.  That’s because every person’s marriage is different, meaning every divorce is going to be a little different from the next as well.  A one-size-fits-all divorce process simply wouldn’t work because of this.

Unfortunately for someone without a legal background, this typically results in a lot of legal questions that are best directed toward a skilled lawyer, such as those at Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.  One such question is one we’d like to address in this week’s post: is a will affected by a divorce in California?

Whether you realize it or not, your will and estate plan can be affected by a divorce.  But before you start to panic, let’s first take a look at how the law addresses dissolution of marriage in accordance with your estate plan.

According to Section 6122 of the California Probate Code, the dissolution or annulment of a marriage revokes many provisions that name your ex-spouse as beneficiary or executor in an estate plan.  The law assumes, basically, that your ex-spouse has predeceased you, leaving it up to you to reestablish beneficiary succession among other things.

If you’re like most people, you may not have considered thinking about your will or estate plan during the divorce process.  Most people have enough on their plate to worry about.  But while the law does afford you some protection so that your ex-spouse does not receive your estate upon your death, this protection does not go into effect until after the divorce process is complete.  This means, if you fail to take action and you suddenly die before your divorce is finalized, your former spouse may still inherit part of your estate.

If this is not the outcome you want, then it can’t hurt to seek guidance from an attorney about this possible issue that could arise during your divorce.  With a lawyer’s help, you can avoid what could turn into a headache for you now and for your loved ones later on.