When you get married, any will you already had will effectively be cancelled and no longer valid. When a couple gets married, it is not uncommon for them to adjust their individual wills to reflect their union. There are various ways to go about creating a new will when a marriage occurs. However, if a couple divorces, it is also important that a new will is made to reflect this significant change as well. Here, the Simi Valley divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch want to discuss how and why a divorce will affect your will.
How Will Divorce Affect Your Will?
We understand the last thing you were probably thinking about when you were going through the divorce process is changing your will. Most people do not realize that California law states that the divorce or annulment of a marriage revokes any bequests in your will that were made to your former spouse. That may take care of the most pressing matter (ensuring that your now former spouse does not get any of your assets), that does not necessarily mean that other portions of the last will and testament will be changed satisfactorily.
You will find that most divorce lawyers and estate planning lawyers recommend creating a new will immediately after your divorce, especially if your former spouse was a beneficiary or a trustee.
Additionally, there are other aspects of estate planning that may need changes in the aftermath of the divorce. This includes:
- Updating your health care proxy to reflect who you want making your health decisions should an accident or serious illness occur.
- Changing your power of attorney to reflect the separation: Couples will likely have some sort of power of attorney over the other that gives one spouse access to the other’s accounts and documents should they become incapacitated. This includes any assets that are solely in one spouse’s name. This situation should be remedied as soon as possible, preferably before divorce is finalized.
- Leaving property to your former spouse: In some cases, one spouse may still wish to leave some property to the other that was not already distributed when assets were divided.
- Considering stepchildren: If two people got married, and they already had children before the marriage, the dynamics of stepchildren can be complicated. You may need to examine whether you are going to leave any property to your stepchildren in this situation. This often depends on whether or not the stepchild was legally adopted by the non-biological parent.
Contact Our Simi Valley Divorce Attorneys Today
If you are going through a divorce, the last thing you are probably thinking about is adjusting your will. However, the divorce process is multi-faceted, and you need an attorney by your side who will guide you through every aspect of the process. Creating and maintaining a will is technically part of estate planning, not divorce law. However, at the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our goal is to ensure you start your new life after separation properly. Let us help guide you forward. When you need a skilled Simi Valley divorce attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-707-0203.