Wills and other estate planning documents are usually written so that a person’s wishes for their property are explicitly and legally documented so their assets can be distributed according to their plans after they pass away. In the face of a divorce, however, the best laid plans may all get thrown out of the window.
4 Essential Things to Consider Changing in Your Estate Planning Documents in the Face of Divorce.
- Do you still have a good executor? The person originally chosen as the executor of your will might not be the best choice after a divorce. If the current executor is your spouse, it might muddy the waters to have them as an executor to your estate. It is important to revise the will to ensure that the executor will act in your best interest.
- Guardianships of children. If the couple divorcing has young children, guardianship will change along with custody arrangements, especially if one of the spouses moves away from the area. Emergency and permanent guardianships both need to be reviewed.
- Beneficiaries of funds. Commonly, spouses are listed as a beneficiaries to funds such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Review these accounts and policies and make sure the beneficiaries are revised accordingly.
- End of life considerations. Often, spouses have powers of attorney to make health and financial decisions on behalf of one another once one of them is unable to do so for themselves. A divorce decree may not change that unless you legally revoke the powers of attorney. End of life care and considerations, such as living wills or pre-purchased burial plots, should also be revised to reflect the divorce status.
A divorce is essentially a breakdown of a legal partnership, so it can get complicated. Consulting an estate planner can help ensure that your estate will be arranged according to your wishes. We are ready to take some stress off your hands after one of the most stressful times by helping you protect your assets! Contact Thornton Law Firm today!