Gordon v. Fishman

Gordon v. Fishman, 253 So.3d 1218 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018)

Under current Florida law, the provisions of a decedent's will that impact the former spouse of that person become void upon divorce. But what happens when the decedent's will is prepared before the marriage (which ultimately ended in divorce)?  Here, the Court found that the language of F.S. 732.507(2) unambiguously requires that the person be married at the time of executing the will. Thus, a will executed before the marriage, leaving assets to the decedent's then-fiance, who he subsequently married and then divorced, are not subject to F.S. 732.507(2). 

F.S. 732.507(2) reads as follows:

Any provision of a will executed by a married person that affects the spouse of that person shall become void upon the divorce of that person or upon the dissolution or annulment of the marriage. After the dissolution, divorce, or annulment, the will shall be administered and construed as if the former spouse had died at the time of the dissolution, divorce, or annulment of the marriage, unless the will or the dissolution or divorce judgment expressly provides otherwise. (Emphasis added)
The Court held that the language of F.S. 732.507(2) is unambiguous in that it only governs wills executed by a married testator. It was not persuaded by the argument that allowing the former spouse to take, simply because the decedent was not married when he wrote his will, would be an unreasonable disregard of legislative intent. 


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