Unfortunately, divorce is a topic that may come up during your estate planning and your lifetime. No one wants to think about divorce when getting married, and especially don’t want to think about dying after being married? It’s a community property state in California, but the law is relatively clear about what you can and cannot do when facing divorce and estate planning.
In regards solely to the will, after your divorce, if you do not revise it accordingly, you have nothing to worry about in the state of California. The law treats your ex-spouse as though they predeceased you. If you named them as the executor of your estate, the law bars them from serving in this capacity post-divorce. If you left them your entire fortune, they might not have it, although the situation becomes more complicated while your divorce is pending. Under the law, you can only bequeath your half of community or marital property to someone other than your spouse. They will own the other half, but you can’t give away what isn’t yours. You can though give your separate property to anyone you choose. California permits you to make changes to your will before the divorce is finalized. If you don’t do so and die before the court enters your final decree, your divorce will be dismissed and your spouse will receive everything you left to her, even if it includes your separate property.