If Your Will leaves Everything To Your Spouse, And They Pass Before You, How Does That Change Your Will?
If your spouse passes before you, and your current Will leaves everything to him/her, or your children if your spouse passes before you, do you need to change your Will? And what if you don’t, will your house or property go automatically to your children?
You do not need to redo your Will if your spouse passes before you, provided your current Will provides everything you wish. However, if it has been several years since your Will was written, it should be looked at along with your other estate planning documents such as Power of Attorney’s and Health Care Directives to make sure these still work for you. These documents are only as good as the wording in them, and the wording should be updated to comply with any new laws or circumstances in your life.
As for your house passing to your children when you expire, note that this does not happen automatically. If the house is in your name, your “estate” will need to be “probated” (a legal process to administer a deceased person’s assets) so that a clear title to the house can pass to your children, or someone who purchases from the estate. This can take some time.
To be sure you have everything set-up correctly, you’ll want to make sure you have a “Community Property Agreement” transferring your spouse’s interest in the house/property to you automatically with no need to probate to clear their interest. Bank and financial accounts can pass outside of probate if the accounts are set-up correctly with beneficiary designations.
In general, it’s best to have a professional assist you to make sure you are covered regardless of how things play out, and that your assets pass on the way you wish when you die.
Join us for one of our FREE workshops, or call to schedule a FREE consultation today, and learn more about how to assure your loved ones are taken care of in the way you want them to be.