After getting officially divorced from your spouse, you may be wondering about other kinds of documents that need updating. While people try to update their estate plan every few years or so, it may need to be done sooner if a significant life event arises. It is not uncommon for spouses to appoint their other half with duties such as power of attorney, will executor or leaving them a substantial portion of assets. If you do not want your former spouse to get any of your assets or be in charge of them after you pass on, you may want to perform a full review of your estate plan before you forget.
In the article here, we have gone into further detail about things to consider when updating your estate plan documents to remove your ex spouse’s name.
The Importance of Editing Your Will
A will is a very influential document within the estate plan, that can have a huge impact on how your assets are handled in the future. In your will are instructions and wishes for how you would like your estate to be divided up after you have passed away. Do not assume that once you are officially divorced from your spouse, that his or her name is automatically removed from your will or other documents. You actually have to destroy the old will, and create an entirely new one. It is not uncommon for people to reach out to their attorney for guidance when starting from scratch. If it has been some time since your original will was created, you may need a refresher.
Who You Assigned as Will Executor
Many people choose their significant other as their will executor. This may be one of the most important roles of your estate plan. Depending on your relationship with your former spouse now, you may or may not want to appoint someone else as your will executor. Do keep in mind that the person you choose as will executor may have to perform the following duties:
Arranging your funeral
Paying debts and taxes from your estate
Distributing assets to beneficiaries as written
Submitting a request for probate, if needed
Protecting your assets
Getting appraisals for belongings
Notifying banks, government agencies and credit companies of your passing
Creating a bank account to handle incoming funds and pay continuing bills
Even if you and your former spouse agreed that divorce was the right decision, you may be devastated. It can be difficult to think about reviewing your estate plan during this time of grief and healing. It can be immensely challenging for people to eliminate their former spouse from an estate plan in the midst of this heartbreak. But, you have to ask yourself if you still want this person to receive part of your assets or be in charge of them, after you pass away. Seeking support from your Sacramento estate planning lawyer about these needed changes, can help you get through the task a bit easier.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Yee Law Group for their knowledge about beneficiaries and estate planning.