How Getting a Divorce Changes Your Will and Estate Plan

How Getting a Divorce Changes Your Will and Estate Plan

Getting a divorce isn’t an occasion people want to celebrate, but it’s an important event that can impact your will and estate plan’s contents. Writing down the painful situation may feel like a hassle at the moment, but updating your estate plan is a crucial part of moving forward as healthily as possible. After all, no one wants their hard-earned assets to go to their estranged partners, so it’s important to take estate planning actions as soon as possible. 

What to Consider When Revising Your Will and Estate Plan After Divorce

1. Revise or Revoke Your Last Will and Testament

Getting a divorce changes your plans in life, which means you also need to ensure your will matches your new needs. You can either execute a new will by revising its contents or revoking it completely, either by destroying or stating that you are nullifying your old will. 

Updating your will ensures it reflects your current wishes, so you can have greater peace of mind knowing that your assets and estates will be designated to the right people who are a part of your life. 

You can also state your guardianship of choice if you have custody of your children. While the court isn’t obligated to follow this, providing reasonable evidence to your statement can help the judge consider your appeal. 

2. Living Trusts

A living trust points out your intended beneficiaries, so it’s important to create a new living trust if you want to make sure that your children take control of your assets and not your ex-spouse. Minor children can still become beneficiaries of the new trust so long as you change its contents after your divorce, which means you can protect your family’s financial wellness by transferring your pay-on-death bank accounts, transfer-on-death brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, and more to the right people. 

3. Revoking the Power of Attorney 

When you are no longer here, your designated power of attorney will handle all of your property and financial accounts. The spouse is the likely agent to execute a power of attorney, so it’s crucial to revoke this even if you haven’t completed your divorce case by appointing another person as your trusted agent. 

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Updating Your Will and Estate Plan After Divorce

Preparing your will and estate plan as early as possible is one of the most responsible things you can do to secure your family’s future, but these aren’t the kind of documents you can write and forget until it’s needed. Life never unfolds as straightforward as people hope, so it’s important to update your will and estate plan whenever a significant change happens—especially something as big as getting a divorce. 

How Can Bickell and Mackenzie Help You?

When dealing with legal matters, things can get complicated, especially with Family Court issues. With that being said, it’s best to work with credible lawyers for your case—that’s where we come in. 
Bickell & Mackenzie is a top family-owned law firm in the Redlands area. We specialise in conveyancing, wills and estates, administration, and family law. Looking for family lawyers in Redland Bay? Book an appointment with us today!

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