Changes to your marital status, whether it be a divorce, new marriage or passing of a spouse, your Will could be impacted depending on the state in which you reside. This impact is based on state laws called “Intestacy” (see our blog Intestate Succession Laws) as well as if you reside in a common law state vs a community property state (see our blog Marital Property vs Sperate Property: Who Owns What?)
In some states, a marriage will invalidate your Will. Yes, you read that correctly. If you get married or re-married in certain states, it could nullify your Will. If you reside in a state that recognizes separate property laws, a marriage may not impact your wishes at all. Additionally, depending on the state in which you reside, as well as how your Will is written, a spouse may still be entitled to a portion of your Estate even if you have specifically stated otherwise.
Changes in your marital status can be very exciting or distressing, depending on the circumstance. Regardless of the purpose, it is always best to have a professional prepare an Estate Plan specifically for you with every major change. To find an Estate Attorney in your state, you can visit our blog Attorneys by State. Also, make certain to check our Resources Page where information by State can be located. Finally, let Vault Keepers assist you with maintaining those original documents and remind you annually to keep everything updated and current. Life can change quickly, so let Vault Keepers help maintain your Estate.