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Changing your will after a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2023 | Wills

Divorce is a life-changing event. Following a split from your spouse, you must update legal documents to reflect your new circumstances.

One such document that requires your immediate attention is your will. You want to ensure that it still accurately reflects your wishes.

Review your existing will

First, review your current will carefully. Take the time to understand its contents and identify any provisions that mention your former spouse. These provisions may include appointing your ex-spouse as your executor, beneficiary or children’s guardian. Identify all instances naming your ex-spouse in your will.

Once you’ve identified the sections of your will that involve your ex-spouse or assets you no longer have, you can revoke or remove them to ensure the document reflects your intentions and holdings.

Appoint new beneficiaries and executors

A recent survey found that 53.4% of people divorced in 2022 owned their houses. After dividing marital property in your divorce, you must update your will accordingly. You can allocate your assets to your children, family or close friends. Choose individuals you trust to manage your affairs and the distribution of your assets.

Update guardianship provisions

If you have children, your will likely contains provisions regarding guardianship if something happens to you. Sometimes, your wishes remain the same after a divorce. However, depending on your circumstances, you may want to reevaluate and update these provisions to ensure your children’s well-being. Consider the best interests of your children and discuss the changes with the selected guardians.

Draft a new will

After making all the necessary revisions, prepare a new document that reflects your current wishes. Be clear and specific in detailing how you want your assets distributed, who should take care of your children and who will handle the executor’s responsibilities. In California, you must sign your will with two witnesses present. This step validates your document to make it legally binding.

It is important to confirm that your will complies with all legal requirements and accurately reflects your current intentions. Updating it safeguards the future of your loved ones and ensures accurate asset distribution. A will that reflects your post-divorce life provides peace of mind for you and your family.