Protecting Your Golden Years

With more than 40 years of experience

Not all spouses want to change their wills during divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2018 | Firm News, Wills |

When many Georgia couples divorce, they intend for the process to create a permanent end to their relationship, and to go their separate ways. That is not always the case, however. Just as no two marriages are ever exactly alike, divorces are also as unique as the couples involved. In some cases, spouses don’t intend to alter their wills, even after a divorce. 

Some marriages end because the parties have simply grown apart. Others are a more practical matter, and have more to do with financial planning and the ability to qualify for Medicaid. In those cases, spouses may still intend for their soon-to-be-ex to inherit all or a portion of their estate. 

In Georgia, however, a divorce removes a spouse’s right to inherit, no matter what the existing will outlines. That leaves the parties in a sort of legal limbo, and creates a risk that assets will not be divided as intended in the event of a death. The issue is further complicated if there are other beneficiaries who wish to contest the matter. The only way to remedy the situation is by drafting specific documents that clearly outline each party’s intent. 

It’s possible to create wills that acknowledge a divorce, yet still clearly state an intent for a former spouse to inherit assets. Doing so requires a skilled hand, which is why couples facing this scenario turn to an estate planning attorney to draft the required documents. Divorce is not always a highly contentious and bitter end to a Georgia marriage, and one’s estate planning documents can reflect that.