How Does Divorce Affect a Previously Signed
Last Will and Testament?

by Rania Combs on September 27, 2010

Although there are no hard and fast rules about how often you should update your will, certain life changes, such as a divorce, will trigger a need to do so.

But what happens if you divorce and die before you’ve had a chance to change your will? Does your estranged ex-spouse get the property you previously willed to him or her while you were still in love?

In Texas, the answer is no. The Texas statutes provide that if, after making a will, the testator’s marriage is dissolved, either by divorce, annulment or a declaration that the marriage is void, all the provisions in the will, including all fiduciary appointments, shall be read as if the former spouse predeceased the testator.

So if you previously signed a will that gave all your worldly possessions to your spouse, and named him or her as the executor of your will, but then divorced, those you named as contingent beneficiaries would take under the will, and those you named as alternate fiduciaries (executors or trustees) would be called on to act.

Nevertheless, it is important that you update your will after your divorce to reflect your current wishes. Your will is something that should change as your life does. Otherwise it can become an outdated document that doesn’t accomplish your goals or protect the loved-ones you leave behind.

Return to Texas Wills and Trust Online home page →

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

If you would like to add your perspective to this post or have a general question, please leave a comment. However, if you have a fact-specific legal question, please email me, or communicate with me through my secure client area. To do so, simply login if you are an existing client, or request an introductory conference if you are interested in becoming a new client.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

Read about Rania's law firm in...