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18 Jul Updating a Will after Divorce

Divorce is not something people expect to occur in their lifetime, but unfortunately divorce happens to many married couples. The divorce process can be painful or painless depending on the relationship an individual may have with their ex-spouse. But in either case, there are documents that all recently divorced individuals or those in the divorce process need to update, such as their Will.
In Ohio, the law provides that if a person who completes a Will reaches a settlement of property rights following a divorce, annulment or separation, any selection of property made in the Will to the former spouse will be revoked. Though this can safeguard an estate from the ex-spouse taking it all, it is still important to have an attorney revise the Will according to who is currently in the divorcee’s life. For example, if there are contingent beneficiaries named in the Will that are the individual’s former spouses family members, it would be appropriate for the individual to name new beneficiaries to stop any assets from transferring to them.
Also, a new executor will need to be named in the revised Will. In most cases, a spouse would be the one to finalize the affairs of the deceased’s estate. However with divorce, a new executor will need to be named within the Will, along with an alternate executor.
Though updating a Will might be the last thing on a new divorcee’s mind, these small changes can make a big difference to their estate. For assistance with writing a new Will or if you have any questions about the information you just read, please contact Attorney Jacqueline Ferris MacLaren, with MacLaren Law, LLC, at (614) 855-6527 or jackie@maclarenlaw.net.
This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not to be construed as legal advice.
By Dalyn Watson, Paralegal Intern