When you find yourself facing a divorce, the last thing you might think about is your estate plan. Unfortunately, it is one of the first things that you should address. Your estate plan determines who receives your assets upon your death, and most people name their spouse as their primary beneficiary.
Here are some things you need to understand about updating your estate plan when you file for divorce.
Revoke the existing will
Make sure that you clearly detail your revocation of the existing will right away. The sooner you do this, the sooner you protect your assets from going to your spouse before the divorce is final. Revoking your will in writing gives you time to create a new one while clearly detailing that you do not want your assets left to your spouse.
Create a new plan
Your new estate plan should name new beneficiaries and a new executor, even if you leave everything in trusts. Take time to clearly define your wishes and name your spouse clearly as an excluded individual. Once the divorce is final, you can revise the will to remove them. Naming them until the divorce is final prevents them from contesting the will if something happens before the divorce is final.
The more proactive you are about your estate planning, the easier it is to protect your assets from your soon-to-be-ex. Consider the changes that your estate plan will need if you are considering or filing for divorce, then address them as soon as possible.