Answers to Common Questions and Situations

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Inheritance Rights After Divorce

What happens to inheritance rights after divorce? There are a few different scenarios to consider to answer this question:

  1. Without a will
  2. With a will
  3. Other, nonprobate property

We’ll look at each scenario in turn.

Without a will.

ex-spouse dies and no will

If you get a divorce and your ex-spouse dies without a will, the estate will be handled under Georgia intestate law. Under that law, an ex-spouse would not be an heir and would not inherit without a will. In addition, the children of an ex-spouse will not inherit unless they are also the biological children of the deceased.

What About a Will?

According to Georgia law, once a divorce has been finalized the now ex-spouse is usually considered to have been struck from any will created by the other ex-spouse prior to the divorce. As a result, the ex-spouse will usually not inherit from the estate. All assets of the estate will pass to other beneficiaries of the will.

If for some reason an ex- spouse still wants their former spouse to inherit after the divorce, they must state that intent in their will. If the deceased fails to mention that their divorced spouse is to inherit after the divorce has been finalized, the former spouse will be disinherited according to the probate laws in Georgia.

Other NonProbate Property

It is important to note that divorce does not always affect other death benefits, such as life insurance beneficiary designations, retirement account beneficiary designations, and other non-probate property transfers. Each of these should be investigated to determine how that particular policy or contract handles divorce.

We hope this short article helps you understand the basics of inheritance rights after divorce. To get help with your situation, please contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate attorneys provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.

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About the author

Erik J. Broel
Founder & ceo

Erik founded the firm in 2009. He sees it as his personal mission to demystify the process of handling an estate or trust, and to help people by making the complex estate process simple and accessible. He believes there is always a better way to do things, and loves finding new and innovative ways to deliver better, more effective service that solves the client’s key problem or issue, and improves the client’s life.

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