Do You Need To Draft A New Will After Getting Married?
Drafting a will while you are single is a very responsible and important thing to do. However, you may have created that will years ago and now you have gotten married. Congratulations are certainly in order, but you may also be wondering if this life change means you should draft a new will. As with most legal issues, the answer is that it depends. Below, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer explains important things to know about the issue.
When someone has a spouse but they are not mentioned in the will at all, they are legally classified as a pretermitted spouse. Pretermitted means the spouse has been omitted. Currently, your spouse is considered pretermitted because you were not married at the time you created your will.
There are some exceptions to the pretermitted spouse law. The first is if you had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse that waived their right to a portion of your estate. Additionally, if you have not gotten married yet but you name your intended in your will in contemplation of the marriage, they will not receive any portion of your estate because they are not yet your legal spouse. In contemplation of marriage means that you are thinking of and planning for the marriage to take place.
The third exception is if you specifically disinherit your spouse in your will. You must state this explicitly within the document.
Your Will is Still Valid After Marriage
Getting married does not automatically void, invalidate, or revoke your current will. Your will is still considered valid after you get married. This does not mean your spouse will not receive anything in the event that you pass away. Your spouse will still receive what they would have if you had died intestate, or without a will at all.
Depending on your personal circumstances, your spouse may receive all or half of your estate if they are properly considered a pretermitted spouse. If you do not have children with your spouse, they will receive 100 percent of your estate. If you do have children, your spouse will receive 50 percent of the estate while your children will receive the other 50 percent.
Other Interests Your Spouse May Be Entitled To
Even if the pretermitted spouse exceptions apply, your spouse may still be entitled to other interests in your estate. For example, they may be entitled to a portion of retirement and life insurance benefits, homestead property, and any assets held as tenants by entirety or joint tenants.
Call Our Wills Lawyer in St. Petersburg for a Review
If you have gotten married and are wondering about how the marriage will affect your will, it may be time to review it. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer can review the document to determine how it will impact your estate plan and if you need to draft a new one. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.