Getting divorced upends almost every aspect of your life, including the plans you’ve made for your loved ones after you’re gone. Following a divorce, some of your property may go to people you haven’t seen in years, while other elements of your will may be automatically invalidated. Below are a few reasons to revisit your estate plan immediately after a divorce.
3 Ways Divorce Affects Estate Planning
1. Invalidating Provisions in Your Will
In Hawaii and most other states, a divorce automatically revokes any parts of your will that benefited your former spouse. While you don’t have to worry about your ex inheriting any of your valuable belongings, those assets will usually be distributed according to your state’s intestate laws. The only way to ensure your belongings go to the people you choose is to write a new will, which gives your last wishes the force of a court order.
2. Giving Assets to Your Spouse’s Family
While the provisions benefiting your spouse are invalid after a divorce, the same can’t be said of property left to their family. For instance, if you left valuable assets to your former spouse’s siblings or parents, those instructions will still be valid, no matter the quality of your relationship.
3. Bestowing Executor Powers to Your Spouse’s Family
Choosing an executor is one of the most important estate planning decisions you’ll make, so select someone you trust. If you named one of your spouse’s family members as an executor, they could be responsible for settling your affairs and distributing your assets unless you write a new will.
After major life changes like divorce, you need estate planning advice from an experienced attorney who will take the time to understand your wishes and your family’s needs. Wills and Trusts Hawaii provides the benefit of over 30 years of experience and caring, personal service to clients throughout Oahu. Visit their website for more on their wide range of estate planning services, or call (808) 792-8777 to schedule a free consultation today.