How do I change my estate plan after a divorce?

woman removing wedding ring

Divorce is never easy, even when things are amicable and mutually agreed upon. There is an overwhelming amount of emotions both parties will experience, and you must make many decisions that impact your future. These include who will receive custody, whether or not alimony payments are necessary, and dividing your marital property. However, you may not have considered updating your last will and testament. It’s likely you’ve included your spouse as a beneficiary, meaning you should change the terms as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn how to update an estate plan after a divorce and discover how Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can help.

Why do I need to update an estate plan after a divorce?

Once you and your partner begin the divorce process, it’s vital to understand why you need to update your estate plan. If you do not change your will and they are a beneficiary, you may relinquish a significant portion of your estate to someone you do not care about. This can also complicate new relationships, especially if you remarry but do not make the necessary changes to include your new spouse in the will while removing your ex.

Also, if you have a settlement agreement with your spouse, such as paying them a lump sum of money if you should pass before alimony payments have ended, you’ll want to ensure this is reflected in your estate plan. If you have not updated the terms, you may find that your spouse can sue your estate, which significantly complicates matters.

What should I change?

Generally, it’s in your best interest to completely change your will by creating a new one. This is especially true for those who want to edit the document by creating a considerable amount of codicils or amendments to the documents. Instead, sitting down to rewrite your will without your ex-spouse is in your best interest.

Aside from your will, you should also update your power of attorney if you’ve named your former spouse, as you likely don’t want your ex making medical, financial, or business decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to do so.

How can an attorney help?

If you’re looking to update or completely rewrite your estate plan, having the assistance of an experienced attorney is in your best interest.

The divorce process can be complex and emotional, and the complexities of changing an estate plan can complicate matters further. As such, enlisting the help of a lawyer to walk you through the process of updating the necessary documents is vital.

At Friedman Schuman, we understand how stressful this process is. However, it is necessary to revisit your estate plan following a divorce, and we are here to help. Our legal team will help you navigate this process with ease so you can focus on healing and entering the next chapter of your life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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