Changing your Estate Plans After a Divorce

Friday, April 20, 2018

Changing your Estate Plans After a Divorce 

If you made estate plans during your marriage, you will need to change them after your divorce or while the divorce is pending. It is a good idea to revisit your estate plans every few years to make sure they match your current wishes. Because your spouse is your primary beneficiary and in most cases, the executor of your will, a divorce generally means it is time to make substantial revisions to your estate plan.
Make a New Will

One of the largest changes you will need to make is writing a new will. Revoke and destroy the old will and work with an experienced estate planning lawyer to draft a new version that:

  • Names a new executor for your estate;

  • Names the new beneficiaries you want to inherit your assets and which assets each will inherit; and

  • Names a new guardian of your choice for your children if you die or become incapacitated before they become adults.

If you and your former spouse share custody of your children, your former spouse will most likely have sole custody of them in the event of your passing. But if you have sole custody and there is a reason why your former partner should not take over as your children’s sole parent if you die or cannot care for them, note this in a letter attached to your will that explains your choice of guardian. If you and your former partner both die or become incapacitated before your children are adults, the court may look to your will to determine a guardian for them.

Name a New Agent for yourself

If you designated your spouse as having Power of Attorney for you in the event of your incapacitation in your old will, now is the time to designate somebody else for this position. There are many different types of Power of Attorney that you can designate, so discuss these in depth with an estate planning lawyer before making changes to your Power of Attorney documents.

Alter the Beneficiaries of your Current Accounts

If life insurance, retirement accounts, and payable-on-death bank and brokerage accounts are part of your estate plans, alter the beneficiaries on these accounts so your former spouse does not inherit from them. Do not assume that your divorce automatically removed your former spouse from these documents – it did not. You must manually alter the documents to change which parties will inherit money from your life insurance and other payable-on-death accounts.

Work with Draper Law Office to Make Sure you Cover Everything

Make sure you do not overlook any important issues or documents while you are divorcing or in the months that follow. An effective way to make sure you are on top of everything divorce-related is to work with an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact Draper Law Office today by visiting our firm online or by calling us at (866) 767-4711 to schedule your initial consultation in one of our three Florida offices.


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