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Effect of divorce on pre-existing estate plans

Most today are aware that approximately 50% of all marriages end in a divorce, dissolution or annulment (referred to in this note collectively as "divorce". The marriages that don't end in divorce ultimately end with the death of one spouse. A large percentage of divorced persons, widows, and widowers subsequently remarry one or more times. This note addresses the legal effect divorces may have any pre-existing estate plans including wills, trusts, non-probate transfers [such as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, community property with rights of survivorship, payable on death ("POD") and transfer on death ("TOD") beneficiary designations]. A subsequent note will address the effect of marriage on a pre-existing estate plan.

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