Personal Injury Lawyer
Nobody has ever said that divorce was easy. Not only is it one of the most challenging times emotionally, but there are so many decisions to make. During such a difficult time, it is important to not forget about your estate plan. If you wrote your estate plan while married, then you probably included your spouse in your trust, will, or listed them as an executor or beneficiary.
If you and your ex spouse are on amicable terms, you probably still don’t want them to have a portion of your assets or be in charge of managing your assets after you have passed on. You may want to consult with your attorney so that you understand the laws for your state, how these may impact your new estate plan, and whether you can make edits now or must wait until the divorce has concluded.
Read on to find out what estate planning changes you need to make after divorce:
#1 Update Health Care Proxy
If you get involved in a serious accident, such as a car wreck, and are placed in the ICU, who is the person you want to make medical decisions for you? Do you want it to still be your ex spouse, or is there someone else you’d prefer to take over? If you had a contentious divorce and your spouse despises you, then it makes sense that you would need to update your health care proxy immediately.
#2 Appoint New Power of Attorney
You and your attorney should review your power of attorney clauses, and appoint a new person in place of your ex spouse as soon as possible. If your spouse was listed as “durable” power of attorney, then this means your ex has access to your assets and accounts while you are still living. This should concern you and be a top priority for making the change. Your attorney can help you revoke that power, execute a new one, and notify your spouse of the revocation.
#3 Review Beneficiaries in Will
If your state permits you to create a new will before the divorce has finalized, then you must do so. Ask yourself, would you really want your soon-to-be ex spouse partially in charge of your estate? Probably not. Also, if your ex is listed as a beneficiary to your property, funds, or other assets, then you will need to remove them and maybe give this to someone else already listed as a beneficiary instead.
#4 Choose What To Leave Your Spouse
As your estate planning lawyer in Arlington, TX can explain to you, you may have to make the decision as to whether you want to “disinherit” your spouse. In many states, you can’t actually disinherit your spouse entirely. If you did, then they may have the right to contest your will and claim that they are owed a percentage of your assets after you have passed on. Having your will contested by an ex would likely be a nightmare for your grieving family members and beneficiaries to endure.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into estate planning and changes to make when going through divorce.