Is My Will Still Valid After My Divorce?

Yes, but…  Divorce does not invalidate the entire Will.  However, all provisions in the Will, including any fiduciary appointments such as trustee or executor, shall be read as if the ex-spouse predeceased the Will-maker.  So, rest assured, your ex-spouse won’t be in the driver’s seat as the executor of your estate (unless you specifically write them back in after the divorce). 

Similarly, any provisions in the will that favor a relative of the former spouse who is not also a relative of the Will-maker (i.e. your former stepchildren) are read as if the ex-spouse’s relative predeceased the Will-maker too.  Stepchildren (or other relatives of the ex-spouse) can be written back into the Will after the divorce, but, immediately upon divorce, they’re “out.”

In sum, divorce writes the ex-spouse and non-shared relatives of the former spouse out of the Will by operation of Texas law.  That said, it’s still a good idea to have your attorney draft a new Will so that a court is not challenged to interpret “who’s in” and “who’s out.”

Author Jim Cramp is the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm.  The Cramp Law Firm provides a spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.