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Quote of the Day - In our family we don't divorce men - we bury them. - Ruth Gordon
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Divorces From The Grave - The Newest Legal Trend In Family Law And Probate

This one falls into the category of "I can't make up stuff this good."  You read that headline right:  several states, nearly 18 in all, with more on the way, have apparently revised their probate laws to provide that if a person in the midst of a divorce dies before finalizing the divorce and there's no will, then the spouse inherits. In one particularly telling instance, this National Law Journal article cites an instance where a man who was to sign divorce papers virtually died with the pen in his hand, but hadn't yet changed his will.

You guessed it, the almost-but-not-quite-former spouse ended up with his inheritance, and not those relatives who he wanted to receive his largess.  Nothing spawns litigation faster than a intended beneficiary who didn't get what was intended, especially when there's a lot that was intended to be gotten.

Situations like that one have led to lawyers seeking posthumous divorce decrees to ensure the money goes where it was intended to go, especially when it's fairly obvious that the almost-but-not-quite-former spouse was not supposed to get anything.

There is a moral here:  if you're in the process of getting a divorce, change your will.  Now.  Before something happens that you didn't intend.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, July 01, 2006 at 00:27 Comments Closed (2) |
 
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