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Updating an estate plan after a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2023 | Estate Planning

After a divorce in Texas, it’s important to update elements of your estate plan. These elements include your power of attorney, wills, trusts and life insurance beneficiaries.

Updating an estate plan

If you and your former spouse worked together to create an estate plan while married, you likely know what it entails. Most of the estate planning components you put together when you were married must be updated after divorce. After your divorce, your wishes for who will inherit your assets will likely change. When you’re married, the law provides certain rights to your spouse, and your estate plan reflects these rights. Your estate plan needs to reflect the changes in your relationship.

It’s key to remember to remove your ex-spouse as the executor of a will or a beneficiary on insurance and retirement accounts. This also includes removing them from other legal documents connected to your estate planning.

The timeframe for updating

As you’re going through a divorce, you likely want to quickly remove your ex-spouse from all parts of your estate plan. However, some laws could limit how quickly you can make these changes. Typically, there are limitations on what changes can be made to an estate plan while the divorce is pending. The idea is to prevent one spouse from hiding or moving assets that rightfully belong equally to both spouses. You want to wait for your divorce decree as this may dictate what aspects of your estate plan you have the right to change and those you do not have a right to change. While you might seek assistance updating some parts of your estate plan, certain things, like beneficiaries, can be updated independently.

Divorce is a complicated and potentially emotionally taxing process. While estate planning may be the last thing you want to consider while going through a divorce, updating your estate plan is essential to ensuring that your assets and financial future are protected.