If an ex-wife is disqualified as a beneficiary under a Will, is the testator’s step-child still a legal beneficiary?

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If an ex-wife is disqualified as a beneficiary under a Will, is the testator’s step-child still a legal beneficiary?

I was divorced in AZ. My ex-husband had made a will prior to the divorce naming me as the beneficiary. I know that it is not valid to me anymore.

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that you would not receive under the Last Will and Testament.  The court would deem you having pre-deceased your spouse and your bequest would go to the party that would receive under the residuary clause (all the rest, residue and remainder clause).  BUT, that rule does NOT apply to his step-child or your child from a prior marriage. Those gifts or bequests are still valid and they will receive under the Last Will and Testament as written.  So as long as your ex did not change his Last Will and Testament or do a Codicil (a legal amendment to the Will) then your child should be receiving an inheritance. Good luck.


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