The Impact of Wills & Death in California Divorces

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Riverside divorce attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce affects many different avenues in an individual’s life. Relationship is one area that affected a lot but apart from that some of the important areas that face an impact are property, finances, children, and jobs. There is one other important factor that gets affected from a divorce and that is your will. What will happen to your will when you get a divorce especially when you have named your spouse as the heir of your property? Or even worse, god forbid if you die during a divorce proceeding, what will happen to your will then? There are many questions that can arise in respect to your will and it is very important that such questions be addressed.

Divorce and will

California law prevents former spouses from benefitting from an inaccurate will. The California court of law will cross out the name of your spouse and consider the names of other people in the will. In certain cases, it is presumed that your spouse is deceased and acts accordingly. If the will is not handled by the court, there is no guarantee that such laws will be applied. But if the will is overlooked by the court, which in most cases is what happens, then the laws stay.

Getting divorced after making a will

In California, the law mentions that if after a will is executed the testator’s marriage is annulled or dissolved, the annulment or dissolution revokes … any appointment of property made to the former spouse by the will. It means that if your will mentions your spouse getting a certain amount of money or property even after your divorce, he/she is entitle to it. But if no such thing is exclusively mentioned then under no circumstances will your spouse receive anything from you. It is also true for any gifts that your spouse might have expected to get from you.

Death or Separation during divorce

If, during your divorce proceeding, you or your spouse die then the will stays as is. If the will mentions you or your partner receiving certain gifts, then you will receive them despite what your spouse would have wanted. The laws for separation is the same as those for marriage. Your spouse can still be revoked from the will if you stay separately and file for a divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation