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What happens to inheritance provisions in a will after a divorce?

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Did you know that more people in the United States over the age of 50 are divorced than widowed? In fact, more baby boomers are choosing to get divorces now than they have in the past. That's because, as some experts point out, later-in-life divorce is becoming more acceptable in society, which is enticing to people over 50 who want a fresh start regardless of their age.

But as you're probably thinking, this might create some legal problems, especially when it comes to an estate plan. When things are going well in the marriage, most people are happy to name their spouse as a beneficiary in everything from insurance policies to wills and trusts. But when the marriage begins to break down, this sentiment may be less so.

This can lead to an important question we are going to address in today's post: what happens to inheritance provisions in a will after a divorce?

Let's take a look at the law to find out.

Thanks to two provisions in the Florida Probate Code -- Section 732.703 and Section 732.507 -- a person's estate is relatively protected from a former spouse's claim in the event that a marriage is dissolved or annulled. That's because both provisions of the Probate Code revoke any provisions in a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement account and/or other employee benefit plans that name a former spouse as a beneficiary.

For all intents and purposes, the ex-spouse is treated as if they had predeceased their partner, therefore barring many claims of inheritance in regards to their former spouse's estate plan. As any good lawyer will point out though, this presumption may not be extended to joint accounts where rights of survivorship are present, potentially causing legal problems down the road.

Although it's easy enough to simply let these two provisions of the law go into effect after your passing, you may be able to save your loved ones a potential headache later on by making changes to your estate plan while you still can. A skilled lawyer, such as those found here at the Law Offices of Frese Hansen, can help facilitate these changes regardless of what stage of life you're in.

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