Getting divorced doesn’t just end your marriage; it can also void your will.
If you drafted a will while you were married and made dispositions or gifts to your then-spouse or relatives of your spouse (except for your shared children), under Colorado law those dispositions are automatically revoked upon the dissolution of the marriage. The nomination of your spouse as your personal representative is also automatically revoked. C.R.S. §15-11-804.
While this automatic revocation generally makes sense, it also means your will can be left with large holes in it. Even worse, depending on the language in your will, the automatic voiding of some provisions may void the entire document, leaving you completely without a will and subject to Colorado’s intestacy laws.
What Colorado law doesn’t automatically revoke, however, is any designation of a former spouse as the named beneficiary for things like bank accounts and insurance policies. That means, for example, if your ex is still listed as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, your former spouse is entitled to claim the proceeds despite the fact that you are no longer married. Updating beneficiaries is something you can do by simply contacting the institution that holds the account or policy.
If you’ve recently divorced and haven’t reviewed your will or other estate planning documents like your power of attorney, you may want to take a look at it and consider having an affordable attorney help you make the necessary updates. Now that you’re in a new chapter in your life, you want to make sure your will and other estate planning documents reflect your current goals.
If you have questions about updating your will at an affordable, flat-fee cost, schedule your consultation today.
This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.
Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.