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Importance of Getting a New Will After a Divorce

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.

Updating Beneficiaries

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 is finalized.

If you need a Katy divorce attorney, contact our dedicated legal team at Hunt Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.