If You Wrote Your Florida Will BEFORE Marriage, Can Your Ex-Spouse Inherit?
Under Section 732.507 of the Florida Statutes, if the decedent’s Florida will is written while the decedent was married, and the ex-spouse is mentioned as a beneficiary, the court will act as if the ex-spouse predeceased the decedent. Therefore, the ex-spouse will not inherit under the will unless there is specific language that provides otherwise. However, what happens if the will naming the ex-spouse as a beneficiary was written BEFORE the marriage? Does Section 732.507 still prevent the ex-spouse from inheriting?
A recent Second DCA opinion, Gordon v. Fishman, discusses this issue. Here, the guardian of the decedent’s father petitioned for administration, treating the decedent’s estate as intestate. When an estate is deemed intestate, it means that the decedent did not have a will. However, the ex- wife apparently had an original will of the decedent and filed it, claiming that she was a beneficiary. Under Florida Statute 732.507(2), the trial court found that the decedent’s ex-spouse was not entitled to inherit from the will that she filed. However, on appeal the ex-spouse argued that Section 732.507(2) did not apply because she was not married to the decedent went he executed the will. The appellate court reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision. The appellate court explained that section 732.507(2) applies only when the marriage predates the will. To read the entire opinion, click here.