Addressing your estate plans after your divorce

During your divorce proceedings in Nashville, you likely had to fight to keep those marital assets that you felt that you were entitled to. Now that your divorce has been finalized, you no longer have to worry about any supposed claim your ex-spouse may have to them, right? Yet what if you have gifted assets and properties to your now ex-spouse in your will, and you forget to amend said will before you die? Many people come to us here Rogers, Shea & Spanos in this exact situation. Like them, you will likely be pleased to know that the law has accounted for yours (or any decedent’s) inaction in this scenario.

Per Section 32-1-202 of Tennessee’s state code, a divorce effectively revokes any stipulations in your will regarding your ex-spouse. This includes any awards of assets or property as well as the bestowal of any rights of action towards your estate (e.g., him or her being named a trustee or personal representative). The same holds true with intestate succession guidelines. Any rights of inheritance he or she may have had to inherit your estate if you fail to prepare a will are voided upon the dissolution of your marriage.

While this answers the concern of your ex-spouse being entitled to your estate should you fail to amend your will, it does not address the question of whether it is wise to disinherit him or her completely. If you have children together, you may want to leave much of your estate to them. Yet if they are not of the age where they could properly manage those assets, it may be wise to name your former spouse as a trustee over them until they reach adulthood.

More information regarding estate planning following your divorce can be found here on our site.