Updating Your Estate Plan After A Divorce

Matters pertaining to a divorce can be very stressful, especially if you and your spouse parted ways on a bitter note. While you seek legal help to get a divorce and resolve issues related to child custody, it is imperative you make changes to your estate plan. During the course of your marriage, you and your spouse may have invested in properties together. Your will and/or power of attorney could have clauses that distributed the ownership of your assets. But after getting a divorce, things are different. The assets you jointly owned at one time will have to be redistributed between the two of you. With some legal help, you will be able to update your estate plan. Here are a few estate planning documents you would have to update after getting a divorce.

Your will

If you have separated from your spouse, then there won’t be any changes to your will. But if the two of you have decided to annul your marriage, then you would have to update your estate planning documents. This is required because a divorce will only automatically revoke the parts of your will that deal with your former spouse. All other clauses in your will remain unchanged even after the divorce. The will is treated as though your former spouse does not exist in the picture.

Your Power of Attorney

As per law, a divorce does not revoke prior appointments of former spouses as attorneys for property or personal care. This can lead to problems as one would generally not want a former spouse to make property or personal care decisions on their behalf. Another thing to note is that in such cases, the former spouse may also be entitled to take compensation for acting as an attorney for property and personal care. So, whether you like it or not, you might be forced to pay an amount in compensation to your ex-spouse who is no longer entitled to your assets.

If your ex-spouse fails to look after the assets allocated to him in the power of attorney, then you will have to take legal help to file a case against your ex-spouse and transfer the power of attorney in your name.

Your Trust

Post a divorce, you should also consider looking into your family trusts. You should update your life insurance, RRSP/RRIF, and TFSA beneficiary designations on separation and divorce. In contrast to the laws pertaining to wills, your divorce has no effect on your beneficiary designations. So, it is important that you make the necessary changes in all your beneficiary designations.

Name Change

Lastly, don’t forget to change your name in all these documents. If you had retained your maiden name even after marriage, then you need not bother, but if you have and want to revert to your old name/ surname, then take legal help and make the necessary changes.

Hassled about updating your estate planning documents after a divorce? Solve your problems by consulting estate planning lawyers in Edmonton.