Will Signed Before Marriage Doesn’t Make Provision for Spouse

A widow contacted me this week. Her husband of 19 years had recently passed away. She found a Will he had signed before they met leaving everything to his mother. He didn’t sign a new Will after they were married. She wondered what her inheritance rights were.

Some states have pretermitted spouse statutes. The statutes provide that if a person marries after making a Will that omits his or her spouse, the surviving spouse will inherit a share of the estate equal to that which the surviving spouse would have received if the testator had died intestate.

Texas does not have a pretermitted spouse statute. In Texas, marriage does not invalidate a valid preexisting Will. If you make a Will before you get married, and would like your new spouse to be your beneficiary, it is important that you update your Will.

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