If a couple divorces, what are the rights of the ex-spouse in their former spouse’s estate? The law provides that if you do not change your will and you have left the name of your former spouse in your will that they don’t receive or take anything under your will. That’s the same as far as a trust is concerned. However, if you name them on your IRA and have not changed it, or your individual retirement account, thus far the law has not been changed and so they may take under your IRA-designated beneficiary form.
So it’s important that you review all your estate documents after you become divorced. If you didn’t have a will and didn’t name your ex-spouse on any of your IRAs or name them in your will, then of course they would not have any rights under your will to receive anything. And whenever you have children involved, of course, they may have rights as far as the children are concerned as the natural guardian of those as far as child support or to take care of the children’s interests in your estate. I urge you, though, if you do get divorced, that you do need to change your will and eliminate or provide for someone other than your ex-spouse. So if you have any questions about that or would like to have a will drawn or review your estate plan, call me at (727) 847-2288.