Can I Change my Will in the middle of my Divorce?

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Unless you want your soon to be ex-spouse to inherit your share of the community estate, you ought to consider immediately changing your will pending your divorce. If you wait until your divorce is final, it could cause the wrong result in the event of your untimely death.

Typically, if you are married, your will might provide that your surviving spouse act as the executor of your estate. Your will might include provisions that all assets you own pass to your surviving spouse. If there is no will, the decedent’s share of the community property will pass to the surviving spouse and potentially all of the decedent’s separate proeprty will pass to the surviving spouse. California Probate Code Section 6401.

Pursuant to CA Probate Code Section 6122, a Judgment for Dissolution revokes an existing will as to the former spouse’s rights. However, separating or filing for divorce does not. Pursuant to CA Probate Code Section 78, during the divorce, the parties remain married and have all the beenfits provided to a spouse by law in the event of death.

Moral of the story: if you do not want your soon to be ex-spouse to inherit your assets, change your will sooner rather than later pending the divorce proceedng. Contact an Orange County Divorce Attorney for more information.

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