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What If a Major Life Event Happens After a Will is Written?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

In Florida, people who have created a will as their primary estate planning document continue to live their lives after it has been completed. That means they might have major events occur that, if they were to happen before they wrote the will, would have been mentioned.

For those who have not updated the will, certain occurrences like a marriage, having a child, adopting a child or getting divorced will impact the estate after the testator is gone. Knowing the law for these factors is important. It is also wise to understand the options in these circumstances.

Life changes are addressed under estate law

If there is a child born or adopted or the testator gets married after writing the will, the people left behind will receive property as though the person died intestate no matter what the will says.

If there is a divorce, provisions in the will that affected the former spouse will be perceived as if they died due to the marriage being dissolved. This is true whether the will was written before or after the marriage. The testator can still put provisions in the will to provide for the former spouse if they choose to do so.

Regarding the spouse receiving a portion of the estate as if the testator died without a will, they will get that share except in cases where there were provisions made or waived in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement; if the spouse is named in the will; or the will states the failure to provide for the spouse was done intentionally. The child will receive proceeds as if the testator died intestate unless the omission was done on purpose.

Updating or rewriting a will may be important

Although those a new spouse, a newborn or adopted child and other issues are covered under this law, it may be wise to know how to update the will. With estate planning, it is vital to be prepared for every eventuality and know how certain understated aspects can impact the person’s estate. Avoiding potential areas of dispute is useful and can avoid rancor and long-term problems between heirs.