Updating Your Estate After a Divorce

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  • The Law Offices of Ryan S. Dougay
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  • December 17, 2018

Updating Your Estate After a Divorce

Divorce Lawyers Austin, TX

Going through a divorce can seem like a whirlwind with so much going on, not to mention the emotional stress and with children, this can be magnified a thousandfold. But even as you get settled into a new routine, home, and schedule for you and your children, you may have time to think about what is ahead for you. An important part of moving forward is updating all your personal documents and important records. Forgetting to do this leaves you open to not having your personal affairs taken care of the way you intended should something happen to leave you incapacitated or in the event you pass away.

An experienced attorney can meet with you to go over the important documents that need to be changed and other steps necessary after a divorce is final such as changing your name or updating your estate documents.

Updating Your Estate Plans

After any life event it is recommended that you update any estate plans, especially if your beneficiaries or agents change. The most important documents to update are your Last Will and Testament, Healthcare Directives and any Powers of Attorney. These documents need to reflect current information because they take care of things like your property and assets, healthcare wishes should you be unable to make medical care decisions on your own, and list who represents your wishes in case of emergency.

Last Will and Testament

A will is a document used in estate planning that details how you want your assets divided after you pass away.

Most people choose to remove their ex-spouse as beneficiary in their will after a divorce is final. In some states, just the act of filing a divorce excludes an ex-spouse from receiving any gifts or bequests in your will and also takes away their right in acting as your executor.

It is recommended you create an entirely new will with the names of the new beneficiaries and executors. You can amend an existing will using a Codicil, however, creating a new will is advised to ensure the old document will no longer be valid.

Appointing a Guardian for Your Children

If one parent passes away, even after a divorce, the other parent will likely take guardianship of the minor children. This should coincide with your ex-spouse’s new will as well. Also, you want to be on the same page with your ex-spouse in the unlikely event you both pass away at the same time. You will need to agree to the same guardian.

Healthcare Directive

When you update your healthcare directive make sure you get all copies that may have been distributed to doctors or any agents. You want to make sure the current directive is the one that will be followed. You only need to update this if you have listed your ex-spouse as your agent or representative and that is not your wishes. Having a healthcare directive document is important because it details your preferred medical treatment plan and end-of-life care in the event you cannot express these wishes yourself.

If you need assistance in updating these documents, the experienced divorce lawyers Austin, TX relies on at The Law Offices of Ryan S. Dougay  can work with you to make these important estate documents current and to your specifications.