If my father remarries and he already has a Will, does his new spouse stand to become the sole beneficiary?

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2011

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If my father remarries and he already has a Will, does his new spouse stand to become the sole beneficiary?

Does he need the executor of the current will to sign off on a new Will?

Asked on December 23, 2011 under Estate Planning, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your farher remarries without updating the Will that predated the marriage of his subsequent wife, that Will is valid upon his death unless there is some amendment to it by way of a trust or subsequent Will amendment.

Assuming your father passes away with the new wife as the survivor and the state they reside in is a community property state, the new wife can make a claim to a portion of his estate as a "forgotten heir" not mentioned in the Will (since a Will speaks at death) or make a claim to a portion of the estate as being owned by her under community property law.

I suggest that to prevent any problems down the road your father should have his Will (or trust) updated after he remarries (assuming that happens).

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