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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Wills > Do Former Spouses Have Inheritance Rights In Florida?

Do Former Spouses Have Inheritance Rights In Florida?


Many times after a person has gotten a divorce, they worry that their former spouse will still receive a portion of their estate if they pass away. In most cases, divorced spouses do not want to leave an inheritance for their former partner in their respective wills. Sometimes this is due to feelings of ill-will, while in other instances, it is because they have a new spouse they want to leave the majority of their estate to. Still, even with these preferences, many people fail to update their will after a divorce.

State law in Florida contains many provisions regarding the impact a divorce will have on a person’s will. Still, being proactive is always recommended and this means reviewing and updating your will after a divorce. Below, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer explains further.

The Law on Wills Made During the Marriage 

Florida law deals very specifically with the impact of divorce on a person’s will. After a married couple officially divorces, the law effectively removes them from the will of a deceased. This provision only holds true, though, if the will was drafted during the marriage. If a will was made during the marriage and the couple then divorced or had their marriage annulled, the probate courts will void any portion of the document that includes the former spouse.

The probate courts treat wills including a former spouse as though the person had died before the testator, or the person who originally created the will. The only exception to this is if the testator had expressly included an exception in their will stating that their former spouse should still receive a portion of the estate.

The Law on Wills Made Prior to a Marriage 

In the majority of cases, people draft wills and include their spouse during the marriage. There are times, though, when a couple may draft separate wills prior to a marriage. With upcoming nuptials, for example, soon-to-be spouses may decide to draft a will at the same time they execute a premarital agreement. This can complicate matters if the couple then divorces in the future and the two spouses do not update their will.

The law is very clear that former spouses are only voided from a will if the document was drafted during the marriage. On the other hand, the law does not address how the courts should proceed when a will was drafted prior to a marriage. As such, it is up to the discretion of the court to make decisions on these matters. In the past, courts have upheld wills created prior to a marriage, meaning the former spouse was granted inheritance rights. For this reason, it is critical that all married couples update their wills and other elements of their estate plan after getting a divorce.

Our Wills and Trusts Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Update Your Documents 

If you have recently gotten a divorce, it is critical to review and update your entire estate plan. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer can help you do it to ensure your current wishes are fulfilled. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.



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