California Asset Protection: Inheritance Rights of Surviving Spouses

1:26 pm Uncategorized

Many people wonder what might become of their estate when they die even if they have the best protection in place. One of the main concerns involves the protection of a surviving spouse. This multi-layered concern often includes questions about which spouse will get what in the event of more than one wife or husband. If a will was not amended after the termination of a marriage and the surviving spouse — married or divorced — was named as a beneficiary in a will, that person is still entitled to whatever assets are laid out in the final will and testament of the deceased. Remember: a surviving spouse does not denote a current or previously married spouse, so don’t leave it up to someone other than yourself to decide.

It is important to do two things with your will after a divorce. First, if you no longer wish your ex-spouse to be the beneficiary of your estate, remove them as soon as possible and replace them with your next of kin or another person you deem fit for both the privilege and the responsibility. Second, if you remarry and wish to make your new spouse the beneficiary of your estate, make that revision as soon as you can because if you don’t you may put an unnecessary strain on loved ones that could lead to litigation and probate.

Make sure you understand what is happening when planning your California estate. If you are confused by any of the processes involved, simply ask your lawyer about protecting your assets and estate. If more than one spouse from a current or previous marriage survive you it is imperative that the proper beneficiary be awarded your assets, retirement, 401(k), joint tenancy assets, and pay-on-death accounts. You will also want to specifically ask your estate lawyer about who will receive your life insurance in the instance of more than one surviving spouse.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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