You work hard to procure and maintain your estate. Therefore, it is only right that you be able to properly designate who benefits from what you possess after you pass on.
If you divorce, you may wonder what will become of the parts of the estate that you previously left to your ex-spouse. You may find it surprising how a Texas divorce can affect your will.
Will interpretation after divorce
The Texas Estates Code 123 fully details how executors and trustees are to treat a will that a divorced individual creates while married but does not revise before death. In short, once a divorce becomes final, the ex-spouse is no longer a beneficiary of the estate.
Therefore, if the deceased individual does not remove the ex-spouse from the will, the trustee must read the will as if the ex-spouse passed before the deceased. This means that the estate goes to any additional beneficiaries. In the same manner, if the deceased had named the ex-spouse as the executor of the estate, any additional party designated after the ex-spouse then becomes the primary executor.
Keeping your wishes intact
In some cases, spouses may divorce amicably and desire to keep their current estate plan as is. However, by law, the current agreement does not stand once the divorce is final. Therefore, the designating party must revise the will to denote that the ex-spouse is still the beneficiary. On the other hand, if someone creates a will after the divorce, the ex-spouse may be a beneficiary without issue.
Whenever you have a significant event occur in your life, it is a good idea to review your will and make any necessary revisions. In fact, it may be beneficial to go over your will annually, or at least every few years. This will help you to ensure that your estate executor will honor your current wishes and that your estate will be beneficial to the individuals that you intend.