Estate planning is most likely the last thing on your mind when you’re
facing the emotional stress of going through a divorce. After the divorce
is finalized, however, it’s important that you update your will
or else your assets may be distributed to your ex-spouse. In this blog,
our Katy family law attorney discusses the steps you need to take in order
to make sure your will reflects your current wishes after a divorce.
Revoking Your Will
The first step in updating your estate plan after a divorce is to revoke
your old will and make a new one. After a divorce, you and your former
spouse are legally independent of one another – you want to make
sure your will reflects that. In your new will, be sure to leave your
property to the people of your choice, name an executor to wrap up your
estate and name a guardian to take care of any young children you have.
After a divorce, it’s important to update your beneficiary designations
for life insurance policies, retirement accounts, pay-on-death bank accounts
and transfer-on-death brokerage accounts. You likely don’t want
your ex-spouse to continue to receive any of your benefits in the event
of your death.
Under Texas family code, a pre-divorce designation of a former spouse is
not valid unless:
- The Decree of Divorce requires the insured to continue to list the ex-spouse
as a beneficiary
- You re-designate the former spouse as the beneficiary
- The former spouse is designated to receive trust proceeds for the benefit
of a child.
New Powers of Attorney
Another part of your estate plan that may require updating are your power
of attorney – documents that give someone authority to make medical
or financial decisions on your behalf, if it’s ever necessary. If
your current powers of attorney give your ex-spouse authority to act for
you, revoke them and update your powers of attorney after your divorce
If you need a Katy divorce attorney, contact our dedicated legal team at
Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today to
schedule a consultation.