At the end of March, 2012, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) became effective as to estates and certain aspects of trust. Prior to that time, the law provided that marriage would revoke a will unless it was made in contemplation of marriage.
Under the MUPC, in general, marriage does NOT revoke a will. The foregoing general rule does not affect the right of the surviving spouse, who may be entitled to property that otherwise would pass to different beneficiaries.
On the other hand, under the MUPC, the termination of a marriage by divorce or annulment generally also terminates the interest of a divorced individual’s former spouse (and certain of the former spouse’s relatives) in revocable portions of the divorced individual’s estate plan.
In order to clarify the distribution of your assets after your death, rather than rely on the rules described above, which do have exceptions, if you have recently married, are contemplating getting married, have recently divorced or are contemplating divorce, you may want to review and consider revising your estate plan.
Contact Miriam Jaffe with questions about estate planning.