In Texas, divorcing couples should consider how their divorce settlement agreements may affect their future estate planning rights. Family laws and probate laws overlap in many situations. In Texas, a surviving spouse has a right to certain community property and non-community property, including a homestead right to a life estate. If a divorce property settlement agreement contemplates otherwise, does a former spouse with a life estate right still have the legal right to live in the former spouse’s home? In most cases, the answer is “no.” Divorce typically extinguishes the rights that husbands and wives have to one another’s property after death. Because of the life changes that divorce brings, changing your estate planning documents is an important part of the divorce process. Speaking with an estate planning attorney about your divorce is a very smart decision and may help you save unnecessary time and frustration.
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