What happens if the will is older than the marriage?
The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) became effective as of March 31, 2012.
Before the MUPC, Massachusetts law provided that marriage invalidates a will in its entirety unless "it appears from the will that it was made in contemplation thereof." Pretty simple and straightforward, right?
Under the new law, things are a bit more complex. Under section 2-301 of MUPC, if a surviving spouse married the decedent after the decedent executed his or her final will, the surviving spouse receives a intestate share (what he or she would have gotten if no will) EXCEPT that the surviving spouse does not get an intestate share of those assets passing under the pre-marital will to the children of the decedent who were born before the marriage and who are not also children of the surviving spouse, among other exceptions, "unless: (1) it appears from the will that the will was made in contemplation of the testator’s marriage to the surviving spouse; (2) the will expresses the intention that it is to be effective notwithstanding any subsequent marriage; or (3) the testator provided for the spouse by transfer outside the will and any intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision is shown by the testator’s statements or is reasonably inferred from the amount of the transfer or other evidence."
Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law.
The author Attorney Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney serving clients in Easton, MA, as well as nearby towns and cities, including Abington, MA, Avon, MA, Bridgewater, MA, Brockton, MA, Canton, MA, East Bridgewater, MA, Foxboro, MA, Mansfield, MA, Norton, MA, Randolph, MA, Raynham, MA, Rehoboth, MA, Rockland, MA, Sharon, MA, Stoughton, MA, West Bridgewater, MA, and Whitman, MA.
Brigitte, a graduate of Boston College School of Nursing and an honors graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Law School, stands out from other elder law and estate planning attorneys in that she worked as a registered nurse for four years and earned a Master of Science in Taxation with high distinction from Bentley College. This unique combination of legal, nursing and taxation backgrounds enables Brigitte to provide outstanding legal guidance to her clients in their time of need. Call for a free phone conversation with Brigitte to learn if she can help. You also may reach her through her website at vonweisslawoffice.com.
The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC)
Bristol County Family and Probate Court
Plymouth County Family and Probate Court
Norfolk County Family and Probate Court
Brockton MA Enterprise Newspaper
Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton MA
Brockton MA Historical Society
Brockton Arts, Inc. Brockton MA
Forbes magazine estate planning article
Kiplinger magazine estate planning article
USA newspaper estate planning article
American Bar Association's Estate Planning FAQ's
New York Times article on estate planning
US News article on estate planning
Fox Business article on estate planning
Los Angeles Times article on estate planning
Bridgewater MA Office on Elder Affairs
East Bridgewater MA Council on Aging
West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging
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