It’s important to update your will after you go through a divorce for a number of reasons. First, you may no longer want your ex-spouse to have access to your assets if you pass away. Second, you might want to guarantee your biological children receive your assets first in the event of your passing. Finally, if you have sole custody and the other parent cannot take on custody full-time or at all, you might want to designate a guardian of your children if you pass away suddenly.
If you already have a will, then you may have made it when your family was starting out. Maybe you updated it when you had kids, but you haven’t touched it since. Today, you have to start thinking about the changes you want to make. Your divorce might take months or years, but there is no time like the present to adjust your will.
How should you begin?
One thing to remember to change is your executor. If your executor was your spouse or a spouse’s sibling or friend, you may no longer be comfortable with that person playing that role. If that’s the case, you should change the executor right away. After you take care of this, you can start going through the nitty-gritty of your will.
- Changing your ex-spouse’s rights
Changing your ex-spouse’s rights in the will comes next. Address whether or not you want your ex-wife or ex-husband to receive any of your assets upon death. If not, you’ll need to allocate those assets to another heir. If you’d like your children to receive those assets, indicate this in plain text. That way, there’s no confusion over the beneficiaries of your estate.
- Appointing a guardian
In the event that you cannot take care of your children and your ex-spouse isn’t a viable option, the courts will want to see another guardian appointed. Take the time to choose a caretaker of your children if you or your ex-spouse is unable to perform this vital role.
Changing other parts of your will may be necessary as well. Take time to review it now, so you know what will happen in the future.