Making the Changes When Your Spouse is Gone
Many areas of your life will change when you get a divorce, and you may need to be the one to initiate some of those changes to ensure everything is up to date with what has happened. If you have an estate plan in place, you may want to review those documents to see where your former spouse was included; if they remain in your current plans, you may want to update your estate plan.
Removing Them as Beneficiary
Perhaps the most obvious change you will make to your estate plan after divorce is removing your former spouse as a beneficiary of any assets you previously planned to distribute. If left unchecked and you pass away unexpectedly, your former spouse could reap the benefits of certain assets that would be better served going to other family members or friends. Review your estate plan and who you have designated as the beneficiary of any assets, and if your former spouse’s name appears, note what you have to update.
Remove Their Power of Attorney
An even more important change to make after divorce is to remove your former spouse as the person you have listed as your power of attorney. With a power of attorney, a named party becomes responsible for managing your financial affairs or determining medical care (if medical power of attorney) in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on your own accord. This means that your former spouse would maintain control of important assets and have sole discretion as to how to handle these affairs, putting your family at a significant disadvantage.
If you have listed your former spouse as the named person with power of attorney in your estate plan, both you and your family will be best served by changing this individual in your plan.
Work with an Attorney
The most effective way to update your estate plan after a divorce is to work with your attorney on these changes. They can provide you with perspective that can help you determine how you want to make these changes and who your new beneficiaries will be. At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we can help you move forward with this part of your life after divorce in a way that will meet your needs and the needs of your loved ones.
Learn more about divorce and estate planning in Texas by calling our office at (210) 775-2000 or by visiting our website.