Do I Need to Change My Will After My Divorce?
It is important to think about the future when finalizing your affairs during or after a divorce. Most people will make the mistake of focusing only on their present situation, such as custody, bills, and marital assets. Updating your Will is just as important.
Here are some additional steps you should consider when getting separated or divorced:
• If you pass away while you are separated from your spouse, but are not legally divorced, your ex will have a claim to your estate even if you have an existing Will.
• Once you are legally divorced, your spouse may still have a claim to your estate when you pass away if you have not updated your will or if there is not a separation or property settlement agreement in place.
• Pensions and 401(k) Plans are also important to update because they have beneficiaries. You need to contact the Trustee or Plan Administrator to change what will happen to your pension. You may have the option to substitute children for your ex spouse.
• Don’t forget to update beneficiaries on all bank accounts.
• Don’t forget life insurance policies! Make sure you check and update who gets payment in the event of your death.
• If you own a marital home with your ex spouse, check to see how the home is titled. In most cases, each spouse’s share of the house will pass to the named beneficiary in their respective wills, in the event of a death, if the death comes after a divorce. If the home is titled in both names, and one party dies before the divorce, the deceased spouse’s share may transfer to the other spouse by operation of law.
• Contacting an attorney to assist in changing your will after you are separated or divorced is a smart option in order to protect your Estate and to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of your death.
Schulz Stephenson Law represents clients regarding Family Law and Divorce in Carteret County, NC including Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Cape Carteret, and Emerald Isle as well as New Bern and other areas in Craven County, Pamlico County and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a consultation so we can discuss the next steps in making the litigation process as smooth as possible for you.