How Do I Change My Beneficiaries After a Divorce?

Wills and trusts

If you are getting a divorce, you probably feel like you are already dealing with enough paperwork. There is one more important thing that you need to do though, and our Woodland Hills will attorney can help you do it. You need to change your estate plan and its beneficiaries as soon as you can.

Why Do I Need to Change My Estate Plan and Beneficiaries?

Most of the time, people designate their spouses to be their main beneficiaries when they die. This is fine if they stay together, but a divorce throws a wrench in these plans. Most of the time, your ex-spouse is no longer going to be the best person to be in charge of your estate, even if your relationship with them is currently cordial.

California state law does require that spouses are removed from most estate planning documents after a divorce goes through, but you can still run into issues if you do not edit your estate plan yourself. Certain assets and accounts could still be in their name despite what the state law calls for. Plus, there could be confusion if you pass away before you make any changes to your estate plan. You want to choose new beneficiaries and make any other changes as soon as you can.

Remember, you can do this on your own, but we suggest that you work with our attorneys instead. These are legal documents that you are dealing with, and you want to make sure that everything is done right so that your estate plan is legally binding.

Do I Need a New Will?

If your spouse was the executor of your will and the main beneficiary, you are going to need to make some changes here too. You will need to pick a new executor of your will and ensure that everything is done in a legal manner. If you make mistakes, a will could be rendered invalid.

What Other Estate Plan Changes Should I Make After a Divorce?

There may be more changes to make once you have chosen a new executor for your will. You may also need to:

Choose new beneficiaries for some assets: If your estate plan left most of your assets and property to your spouse, you will need to change that. You can name one or multiple beneficiaries.

Modify your trust: If you established a trust of some sort with your spouse as a beneficiary, you also need to change the terms of that arrangement.

Change who gets power of attorney: Spouses often get the power of attorney, so you will probably need to change this too. You can give someone financial power of attorney, the ability to make financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated, and medical power of attorney, the ability to make healthcare decisions for you.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Our attorneys can help you with any of the above tasks and any of your other estate planning needs. Just contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman and schedule a consultation today.

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