Does divorce have any impact on a Last Will and Testament?

When a person gets divorced in Florida and has a Will, the divorce essentially negates any rights under the Last Will and Testament as they relate to the former spouse.

When clients get divorced and have a Last Will and Testament ("Will") naming their spouse as beneficiary or as Personal Representative, they often ask whether the Will remains in effect after the divorce. Florida law provides that any provision of a Will executed by a married person that affects the spouse of that person becomes void upon divorce, dissolution or annulment of the marriage. After the dissolution, divorce, or annulment, the Will is administered and construed as if the former spouse had died at the time of the dissolution, divorce, or annulment of the marriage, unless the Will or the dissolution or divorce judgment expressly provides otherwise. So a divorce does not invalidate the Will altogether but it does remove the spouse as beneficiary or Personal Representative. It does this be treating the spouse as if they had already died and therefore cannot inherit as beneficiary nor can they serve as Personal Representative. With this in mind, most experienced estate planning lawyers agree that after a divorce, a person should revise their estate documents and remove the divorced spouse from them. They should also review all of their beneficiary appointments such as life insurance, retirement plans, etc. failing to do so could cause the ex-spouse to receive those benefits.

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