When it comes to your divorce, you probably are already preoccupied with a million thoughts. Add to that all of the anxiety and stress of getting separated legally, and you’ve got a pretty tough situation. Whether you’re the one who initiated the divorce, whether they did, or whether you’re thinking about getting a divorce (and perhaps not sharing that with your spouse yet), the last thing you are probably thinking about is the effect that it will have on your wills and estates.
If you are considering divorce or you are going through a divorce, it’s such an emotional process that it can be tough to bring yourself to research and look up the details of how pursuing legal separation is going to affect other parts of your life. The last thing that you want is another list of things you have to tackle, but as any divorce lawyer in Etobicoke can tell you, it’s better to be involved and on top of everything that’s going on than to be surprised at how it affects other things later.
We’ve compiled the basics of what you need to know about how a divorce will affect wills and estates, so read on to find out more about this issue. If you want a more detailed understanding about your particular situation, consult a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Etobicoke to find out more.
How a Divorce Affects Wills and Estates
Divorce is such a big decision, not only because it involves a separation of two people who entered into a union together, but also because it affects so many aspects of a person’s life. While married, you or your spouse may have earned a lot of money, bought property, purchased assets, made investments, sold properties, bought cars, and made trusts and wills, as well as estate plans. Often times, couples draft these wills, trusts and plans in a different mentality because they were still married. Now that you will no longer be married, your plans for your assets and estates may have changed.
It is important to change your will while divorcing or after you divorce because in many states, if the will is not changed, then it will be followed if either party passes away. So, if you despise your ex but you never changed in writing what you already had down, they may inherit what you parceled out to them anyway. Some states invalidate will and estate provisions automatically once the date of divorce occurs, but that leaves the will up to alternative parties or relatives. It also may leave a hole for family members to challenge the will and try to get their piece of the pie, tying up the probate in the process.
So as you can see, it’s important to be involved in revising your wills and estates. Ask a lawyer about whether you need to add a revocation clause to your will to show the previous one is revoked. Your state may also need copies of the old will to be destroyed. Any new will that is drafted and signed will be legally binding, so be sure it’s updated how you want it exactly.
Trusts for children may not need to be changed at all, but it can also be amended if desired, or even dissolved. Speak to a divorce lawyer in Etobicoke about your trusts, wills, and plans and if they need to be amended and ask them how you can change your living will and health care power of attorneys today.