How Divorce Affects Your Texas Estate Plan

At McCulloch & Miller, we always advise our clients to begin their estate planning processes on the early side. The reality for many clients, however, is that life circumstances change as time goes on, which is why it is important to update your estate plan as you experience significant shifts in your life. Importantly, divorce can have implications for those who have already laid out their estate plans. If you have gone through a divorce, it is important that you speak with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible so that you can make sure your affairs are in order.

How Does Divorce Change My Estate Plans?

If you have named your spouse as the main beneficiary in your estate, he or she will likely remain the beneficiary until you actively make a change in your estate plan. Thus, even if you get divorced and no longer want your ex-spouse to be named in your will, you cannot just assume that divorcing that person will remove him or her from your estate plan. You must update your estate plan to specify which assets, if any, you would like to leave for your former spouse.

How Do I Update My Estate Plans?

To update your estate plans after a divorce, there are several things to keep in mind. First, you will want to consider revoking your previous will so that no one questions whether or not it still stands after your death. By revoking the will entirely, you can leave no room for doubt that your wishes are encapsulated in your new estate planning document.

Next, you should replace your spouse in whatever roles he or she might have had in your estate plan. For example, if your spouse was your health care proxy, your power of attorney, or the beneficiary to your assets or life insurance policy, you might want to consider naming a different person or set of people to take your spouse’s place.

What if There are Children Involved?

For parents who have divorced, it is likely that your ex-spouse will still be the assumed guardian of your children if you die. Talking with your ex-spouse about what this might look like in practical terms is always a good idea.

Similarly, your ex-spouse will likely manage your children’s inheritance if you leave them any assets. If you think your spouse is ill-equipped to handle this task, you should consider creating a trust that holds your child’s inheritance. You can then set an individual to step in as trustee, so that you can rest easy, knowing the money will be handled according to your specific wishes.

Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?

If you or a loved one is undergoing the estate planning process in Texas, give our office a call at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. We are experts in walking our clients through thick and thin, good and bad, because we believe that no matter your stage of life, you deserve the best and most qualified team of attorneys that Texas has to offer. For a consultation with a member of our team, give us a call today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to have someone get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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