Family Law

Family Law News VOLUME 45, ISSUE 1, FALL 2023

INTERSECTION OF ESTATE PLANNING AND FAMILY LAW

Written by Steven Brumer*

Parties to dissolution matters transition quickly from "partners" to "adversaries." Much in the way married persons without prenuptial agreements perhaps unwittingly agree to be bound by the terms of the Family Code upon divorce, parties without estate planning documents have agreed to be bound by the Probate Code upon their death.

In essence, if one does not make an estate plan, the State has made an estate plan for you. As the rock band Rush said best in their song, Freewill: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."1

Probate Code section 6122 provides that dissolution or annulment revokes a disposition of property to a former spouse and any provision in a will nominating a former spouse as personal representative of the estate of the decedent; however, this revocation only occurs upon completion of a case and entry of judgment.

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