Estating Planning Steps to Take When Getting Divorced

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Divorce can be one of the most difficult times of your life and you have to make a lot decisions during the process. However, one task that many divorcing couples put on the back burner is making adjustments to their estate plan. It’s in your best interest to make the necessary changes to your estate plan as soon as possible.

Here are some estate planning steps to take when getting divorced.

Update Your Will

One of the first things you should do is make the necessary changes to your will. Fore example, if you named your ex-spouse as executor of your will, you will likely want to remove him or her and name someone else to take care of your estate. If you have minor children, you probably won’t be able to keep your ex from being the guardian if you die. However, you can name an alternate guardian in your will.

Make Change to Your Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy is a very important document to have. You never know when you may fall ill or get into a serious accident. If this happens, you can appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. There’s a good chance that you currently have your ex-spouse named as the decision maker. Because you’re getting divorced, you likely don’t want him or her making these decisions anymore. It’s time to appoint someone else.

Decide What to Leave Your Ex-spouse

Most states won’t allow you to completely disinherit your ex-spouse. For example, he or she may be entitled to the family house. If you attempt to disinherit your spouse, he or she would have the right to contest the will. In addition to the assets your ex-spouse is entitled to receive, you still might want want to give him or her something else, like an old family portrait. Make sure to indicate this in your estate plan.

Change Your Power of Attorney

If your ex-spouse is the power of attorney of your estate plan, he or she currently has access to all of your accounts. This may be worrisome, especially if the two of you aren’t on civil terms. It’s critical to remove your ex-spouse as power of attorney as soon as possible and appoint a new one.

Update Your Trust

If you are able to change your revocable trust, you should do so right away. For example, if you have certain gifts or your ex-spouse’s family in the trust, you may want to remove those. If you have left money for your minor children in this trust, you may want to remove your ex-spouse as trustee and name someone else.

It’s important to make all these changes to your estate plan while getting divorced. It seems like a lot and can be overwhelming. However, the sooner you get it done, the better you will feel. If you have any questions about making changes to your estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney.

Source: Divorce Law Firm Plano, TX, Scroggins Law Group

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