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Why You Should Examine Your Will Before a Divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2020 | Firm News |

When you are getting divorced, you will probably have to deal with how to divide your property when your divorce ends. You should also think about how your property might be distributed if you die before your divorce is finished or if you fail to change the provisions of your will. The Woodbury NJ divorce lawyers at Craig Annin & Baxter can help you to avoid unintended consequences that could otherwise happen if you fail to examine your will before your divorce.

Effects of failing to modify your will before and after divorce

If you die before your divorce ends and do not have a will, the intestacy laws of New Jersey will apply. These laws determine who will inherit property when someone dies without a will. Under these laws, your spouse will likely inherit all of your property even though you may not have intended for that to happen. If you die before your divorce is completed and do have a will, your spouse may still receive your property if he or she is named as a beneficiary to your will. Finally, if your ex-spouse is named as your executrix or executor even if he or she was disinherited in your will, it can still cause problems for the people who you intend to receive your property. Working with our experienced divorce attorneys in Woodbury NJ can help you to prevent these and other related problems.

Elective shares of spouses in New Jersey

Under NJ Rev. Stat. § 3B:8-1, your estranged spouse may still receive an elective share of your estate if you die before your divorce is completed even if you have disinherited him or her in your will. Under this law, your spouse’s elective share is one-third of your estate. This law applies if you continue living together during your divorce. Because this law is complicated, you should talk to our family law office in Woodbury NJ.

Prevent unintended consequences

If you are getting divorced, you probably don’t want your spouse to inherit everything that you own. This makes it important for you to carefully examine your will and make changes to prevent unintended consequences from happening if you die. Making immediate changes to your will can help you to prevent your estranged spouse from receiving everything that you own. For help with your divorce case, contact Craig Annin & Baxter today at 856.795.2220.