Revising Your Estate Plan after a Divorce
If you recently divorced, you may not feel that revising your estate plan is a high priority. Indeed, because divorce is so highly charged emotionally, you may not want even to think about your will at this time. However, consider what would happen if you were to die suddenly. Does your current estate plan reflect how you want your assets to be distributed? Assuming the answer is no, you should set aside time to work with Bryan estate planning attorneys on revising your will and other instruments.
Steps to Revising Your Estate Plan
You should begin changing your estate plan by destroying any copies of your old will. Most all areas covered in a will can need revising at this point. After all, the purpose of a will is to designate who will inherit your property, name a guardian for your children and indicate who will carry out the duties of wrapping up your estate, the executor.
- Estate Assets/Property: If you had a will while married, you probably named your spouse as your primary beneficiary. You will need to decide who will inherit your estate assets should you die. You may have named alternative beneficiaries as well (most likely your children), but don't rely on a probate court to know what your wishes are.
- Guardianship of Children: You may need to update your children's guardianship designee. This matter can be complicated by a divorce, especially if your former spouse has obtained sole or primary custody. Keep in mind also that Texas family courts will rarely remove a child from the care of the other spouse unless there is strong evidence of abuse or a history of addiction.
- The Executor of Your Estate: Assuming you named your former spouse as executor prior to the divorce, you will need to change this designation. Make sure that you name someone who is completely trustworthy.
Updating Other Instruments
It is important that you remember to update other estate instruments as well. This includes naming new beneficiaries to your life insurance, retirement account, IRA, brokerage account, etc. Moreover, if your will names a power of attorney in case you become incapacitated, this designee should also be changed if it is your wife.
For Assistance with Revising Your Estate Plan
Divorce impacts virtually all aspects of a person's life, including who they name on estate planning documents. If you have divorced, work with Bryan estate planning attorneys on making the necessary revisions so that your current wishes are clear. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.