Can your ex inherit in terms of your will?
If you had your will drawn up while you were married, in all likelihood you made your spouse a beneficiary of your estate. If you subsequently divorced your spouse, your ex will still be a beneficiary unless:
- Your will makes provision for your wishes in the event of divorce;
- You die within three months of your divorce (Section 2B of the Wills Act, 1953); or
- You have updated your will since your divorce.
The consequences of not updating your will after divorce:
If you die within the first three months after your divorce has been finalised
Making no provision for what happens in the event of a divorce in your will, your ex will be deemed to be dead in terms of section 2B of the Wills Act, 1953 and will not inherit.
If you die more than three months after your divorce has been finalised
Making no provision for what happens in the event of a divorce in your will, your ex will inherit. The logic here is that, if you did not intend for your ex to inherit, you would have changed your will after your divorce within the 3 month window period.
- Ensure that your will includes your intentions in the event of a divorce, if you are currently married.
- If you are divorced, ensure that your will correctly reflects your intentions. If it does not, contact your service provider and update your will.