A divorce can be an arduous, emotionally draining process and it's normal for people to feel a tremendous amount of relief when the process is over. Despite this relief, however, there may be other legal considerations to address, particularly with any pre-existing estate plans. Many divorce clients fail to amend their estate plan after dissolving their marriage, leaving their ex-spouse with key responsibilities and powers. Below, we take a look at some of the elements of an estate plan need to be amended following your divorce in Texas.
The Executor of Your Estate
It's common for married people to name each other the executor of their wills. An executor is charged with the numerous tasks necessary to resolve an estate, like paying off debts, taxes, and ensuring that beneficiaries receive their inheritances.
Following a divorce, it is often important that your ex-spouse is removed from your will-- not just as a beneficiary (if preferred), but as the executor of the will, as well. Doing so will make things easier on your loved ones and help ensure that the probate process for them is as swift and efficient as possible.
Living Will (Advanced Directives)
If you have a living will—that is, a document that should be consulted in the event that you become medically incapacitated and cannot make decisions—it is crucial that you amend it after a divorce to exclude your ex-spouse. Many spouses name each other in their medical directives, giving each other the power to make significant medical decisions in these circumstances. In most cases, this is an authority that should be taken away from someone who is no longer intimately involved in the life of the client.
Power of Attorney
Similarly, many clients also give medical power of attorney and/or statutory durable power of attorney to their spouse. Power of attorney often comes into play when a client becomes medically incapacitated, but important decisions need to be made about their affairs. These affairs are often financial in nature and should be made by a trusted individual who has the client's best interests in mind.
Are you facing a divorce and concerned about the ramifications it could have for your finances and future? If so, Hunt Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is available to speak with you. We know the concerns and challenges our clients face during and after a divorce and always ensure that we take a proactive approach to ensuring that they move on from this process as swiftly and favorably as possible.