Can my Ex Spouse Really Inherit my Stuff?

Ex Spouse Inherit
Ex Spouse Inherit

Can an ex spouse inherit property from their former spouse after a divorce?  In Minnesota, absolutely yes.

Although there are laws like the Ex Souse as a Beneficiary Rule, I believe it is critical to update every estate plan after a divorce.

What is the Ex Spouse Beneficiary Rule?

Minnesota has two important laws that help revoke an ex spouse from a will and trust.  The rules are:

On the other hand, I believe failing to update an estate plan puts intended beneficiaries (like children, siblings or a future spouse) at risk of not recovering your assets.

For one, there was a recent case reviewed by our US Supreme Court that says certain types of assets do not fall under the revocation laws referenced above.  Keep in mind, this issue was reviewed by the highest court in the land.

Second, why take a chance?

Minnesota’s Laws on an Ex Souse Inheritance

I apologize for adding fuel to the fire, but Minnesota’s court system has produced two opposite opinions on this issue.  Can you imagine an ex spouse taking an inheritance issue to court because they stand to inherit something substantial?

None the less, two cases come to mind:

Even if you never read these cases, please notice this:  each case involves a financial institution.  In other words, even if we think our ex-sposue will never encourage a problem with an inheritance, we cannot rule out our banks and insurance carriers.

In simple terms, making changes to update a will, trust, 401K, etc. is worth the effort to reduce conflict.

Will my Ex Spouse Inherit from my Will?

Right now, there is a strong law in Minnesota that revokes an ex spouse.

On the other hand, I am worried about bigger assets like retirement accounts, insurance policies and real estate.

If you need help with this issue, please contact me directly.  Otherwise, I hope you found value in the links shared above.

Estate Planning Help

Estate Attorney Jasper Berg