People who have a will as part of their estate plan in Nevada generally name close family members as heirs. That will include a spouse. However, divorce is quite common and people might need to change their will to address the new circumstances. After the divorce, they might choose to remarry. This warrants another change to the will. Even after a will has been completed and executed, it can still be revoked. It’s important to know how marriage and divorce impact a will to ensure the document is legal when the person – the testator – dies and their property is distributed.
Does marriage revoke a will?
If a will is in place when a person gets married and the testator dies before the spouse, the will be will revoked unless certain circumstances are in place. These include provisions being made for the spouse; the spouse being provided for in the will or being mentioned showing there was no such provision; or the spouse provided for by property being transferred separate from the will and this was done instead of directly mentioning the spouse in the will. If the will is revoked by marriage, then the spouse will be entitled to what they would have received had the testator not had a will at all and died intestate.
Can getting a divorce automatically change a will?
A divorce is another major life change that might impact a person’s estate plan. If the marriage ends with a divorce or an annulment, anything that mentions the spouse is revoked. They cannot even serve as the personal representative. However, if the testator provided for the former spouse via a property or separation agreement and it was approved by the court or it was ordered by the court in the divorce or annulment proceedings, then they can still receive property from the estate.
People need to be prepared for life changes as part of their will
A primary objective with any aspect of estate planning is to be ready for the future and to care for loved ones. In some instances, there are life changes that happen and must be addressed. That includes positives like getting married, coming into money, accruing property, having children and grandchildren. It also includes challenges like getting divorced. The law addresses marriage and divorce, but people generally want to control their own estate plan. It is important to have professional help to maintain that control and ensure a legal document that is crafted the way the testator prefers.