Trusted Southern Ohio Attorneys

Do I need to change my will If I have gotten divorced in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

When creating a will in Ohio, it is natural to think about current circumstances and believe they are going to stay the same for the duration. For example, a person might write a will without the expectation that they are going to have a child or more children. They could already have grandchildren and not plan for more.

They may have a business they are not intending to sell or property they want to retain. Changes can obviously impact the will. One issue that can be a challenge is if there is a divorce. People need to know what they must do about their estate plan in this situation.

Is my will automatically revoked if I get divorced or do I need to revoke it?

There are legal requirements to revoke a will in Ohio. Regarding a divorce, a marital dissolution, an annulment or upon becoming separated from the spouse who is named in the will, it may not be necessary to outright revoke the will as it does so automatically unless otherwise stipulated.

When people get a divorce, there are likely property issues that must be settled. For parties who are planning to settle these issues and split the property, the inheritance could be rendered irrelevant. For example, if there was a marital home and the spouse was going to receive it as part of the will, it can be split during the divorce and it will no longer be part of the estate.

There are cases where the sides are on good terms even after the divorce and the testator does not want to remove the former spouse from the will. This can be stated and the will remains in effect even with the divorce. In these instances, it is important to remember they must make that clear.

For creating, updating and revoking a will, having help is essential

A will or other estate planning document is not necessarily set in stone once it is completed. It is frequently just a starting point that will be updated or even completely revoked as necessary. In cases where a testator is getting divorced, it is important to understand how that will impact the estate plan and how property is distributed after death. For assistance, it is wise to consult with professionals who are experienced in all areas of estate planning.