Why You May Want To Make These Changes To Your Will After A Divorce

23 November 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


Although writing a will is a good estate planning strategy, it is not the end of the process because you need to keep updating your will whenever something significant happens in your life. For example, you need to analyze your will after a divorce to determine whether there are changes you need to make. Here are some of the will changes that you may find useful after a divorce:

Changing the Beneficiaries

If like most people you had named your spouse as one of your beneficiaries, then they will still receive your inheritance even after your divorce if you don't change the will. This is because a divorce doesn't automatically make someone ineligible for inheritance gifts. Therefore, if you don't want your former spouse to inherit your property, the best thing to do is to remove their name by either writing a new will or updating the current one.

Name New Powers Of Attorney

A power of attorney designation gives someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you ever become unable to do so. For example, if you fall sick and are unable to make major decisions on your own, the power of attorney gives someone the authority to decide your treatments or manage your investments. It makes sense that many people give the power of attorney to their spouses, but you might want to change that after your divorce. 

Naming a New Executor or Trustee

The executor is the person in charge of managing your estate and distributing your assets in case you die. This is the person who sees that your last will and testament is honored. The trustee does the same thing, but they are in charge of a specific trust fund and not your entire estate. If either or both of these designations go to your spouse, then you may be interested in updating them if you have divorced that spouse.

Naming a Guardian for Your Child

Lastly, you may also consider updating your last will and testament to name a new guardian for your child. Note that the guardian designation won't stop the other parent, assuming they are the biological parent to the child, from taking care of the child if you die. However, if you have children from previous relationships and their biological parents are dead, you can name guardians for them so that the spouse you have just divorced won't take care of these kids.

Contact a law firm for more help.