Going through a divorce is tough. Not only does it involve a lot of often painful emotions, but it also requires a lot of different steps to ensure you are protected as a newly single person. While you are dealing with custody and the division of your family assets, you also need to make sure your estate is safely locked down. One of the things you will need to do is make changes to your will so that your spouse is removed. If you do not do this, it could result in your former spouse getting your estate upon your death. If this is something you do not want, the following are some things you need consider:
Ensure Your Old Will is No Longer in Effect
Making a new will is far less complex than using your old one. However, your old will could still be in effect unless you take some steps to change it. It will be necessary for you to revoke your old will so that everyone knows to which one they should refer once you pass away.
It is very easy to revoke a will -- you can opt to just destroy all paper copies of your will that are in existence. However, if you have multiple copies and you do not have those copies on your person, other family members could argue during the execution of your will that they are entitled to your estate even though you have removed them. This is why revoking your old will is not the only step you need to take.
Change Your Current Will
As stated, making a new will is easier than changing your existing will; still, it is ideal to change your old will even if you intend to make a new one. Some states will automatically update your will once you file for divorce. This change prevents your former spouse from getting any assets or property they would have received had you remained married. Although some states do this automatically, it is best to double-check it for yourself to make sure it is ironclad. When you change your will, you simply change your beneficiaries and rename who will receive what assets upon your death.
Change Your Power of Attorney
Most people name their spouse as their power of attorney when making a will. If this is the case, you need to change who you want this person to be. The power of attorney will have all the power to make decisions on your behalf when it comes to your estate. In many states, this will change automatically once you get divorced. It is best to do this yourself, however, so that you can be sure you have exactly who you want in that position.
For more information about creating new wills or updating existing ones, you can contact businesses like the Wright Law Offices, PLLC.