•A new Florida will is almost always advisable for the divorced client, especially if there are minor children.
•Florida Statute section 732.507 generally provides that after the dissolution the provisions for the former spouse in the will are treated as if the former spouse died at the time of the dissolution of the marriage.
• A subsequent marriage, birth, adoption, or divorce will not revoke a Florida Will.
•A Major Concern of Most Clients
-Former spouse will be appointed guardian of the property of the deceased client because they are the natural guardian of minor children and have the highest priority for appointment as guardian. The priority can be altered by naming another individual as guardian under a Florida will.
-Consider avoiding a guardianship of the property by having assets for minors held in a Florida trust. Someone other than the former spouse can then be named as trustee.
“Pour Over” Wills and Revocable Trusts
•If the client has established a revocable inter vivos (living) trust and executed a Florida pour over will (a will that distributes the residue to a trust) prior to the dissolution, the former spouse could potentially inherit the entire estate if the former spouse is the beneficiary of the trust. Florida Statute section 732.507 does not have any effect on inter vivos trusts.
•A new or restated Florida trust should be executed to remove provisions for the former spouse for the reasons stated above.
Estate Tax Planning
•If the client has a taxable estate, the fact that they no longer have a spouse could drastically change their estate tax planning due to loss of the marital deduction.
Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation, IRA’s, Annuities
•Beneficiary designations should be reviewed to assure that the former spouse is no longer a beneficiary.
•IRA designations need to be reviewed to make sure the effect of the chosen beneficiaries does not adversely affect one of the beneficiaries because of age, or ineligibility