What happens to a person’s Will if they re-marry?

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What happens to a person’s Will if they re-marry?

My wife owns a home and has 2 children. She has a will to leave the house to the kids at the time of her passing on. It has not been updated. At this time if she passes on is that Will still executable since we are now married or can I stay in the house. Do I legally now own the house or do I have no claim to it? Do I have to surrender it to my stepchildren?

Asked on October 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you and your wife want you to have the right to the home after her passing, then she would need to update her will to reflect the change in her wishes.  The will must be validly executed and clearly withdraw the directions of the prior will.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The will is unaffected by re-marriage: your wife's estate will pass as per the will.

If you jointly own the home with her, then you, as the surviving joint owner upon your wife's death (assuming she passes before you), would get the house. If, however, the house belonged to your wife prior to your marriage to her and she has not given you some ownership interest in it since then, it is still her house--not your house jointly--and it will pass via her will on her passing.


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