Divorce is a messy and emotional business and can leave you open to financial loss, especially where your estate is concerned. To protect the interests of your heirs, speaking to an estate attorney after a divorce is a good idea. In fact, sometimes an estate attorney may even recommend that you start changing your will during the divorce process, but this is a personal preference.
At Davidson Law Group, we get many questions regarding the estate planning process, but few ask about what to do in the event of a divorce. To help our clients better understand the importance of working with an estate attorney during this time, we’ve outlined a few reasons why you should evaluate your will following a divorce.
Related Post: Adjusting Your Estate After Divorce
#1. Your Will is Changing
The number one reason you should speak with an estate attorney after a divorce is that the beneficiaries in your will are going to change. Unless you’ve stayed on good terms with your ex-spouse and wish to leave them assets after your death, you probably want to write them out of your will and reexamine what you were going to leave to them.
To begin, most couples leave property to their spouse before offering it to children or other family members. If there is property that you have left for your partner, you may wish to leave that property to somebody else in the event of your death. Some states automatically revoke gifts in a will following the termination of a marriage, but this isn’t the case for all bequests.
#2. An Estate Attorney Understands Complicated Paperwork
It isn’t just your will that changes following a divorce. You’ll also want to change beneficiaries on your life insurance policy, brokerage accounts, retirement amounts, and bank accounts. There are different laws revolving around legal documents, such as life insurance and bank policies, which could leave your family open to lose if you don’t rename beneficiaries. Your ex-spouse may still be entitled to money from these policies and accounts if he or she is named in the documents referring to them.
#3. You Need New Power of Attorney
In the event of illness or accident that leaves you physically or mentally unable to care for yourself, your power of attorney has the authority to govern medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Most couples choose their spouse as power of attorney for obvious reasons but you’ll want to change this following your divorce. An estate attorney will help you designate a new power of attorney.
Contact an Estate Attorney Today
For more information on estate planning following a divorce, or to speak with an experienced estate attorney from the Davidson Law Group, contact us today! We serve the greater Dallas area, with offices in Fort Worth, Allen, and Tyler.