Divorce results in a number of substantial life changes for many individuals. There are many issues that concern individuals going through a divorce including custody rights and how property will be divided. An additional element that many individuals should consider during a divorce is updating their estate plans.
Updates to the estate plan should reflect a person’s new perspective on how end-of-life issues should be handled now that the person is no longer married, and many other changes. It is important that a person understands the many elements of an estate plan that can be affected by a divorce.
Revocations of Prior Wills
Estate planning laws in the state of Oklahoma dictate that a person’s new will in the state of Oklahoma wll replace any previous wills. It is always a wise idea, however, to make sure that no previous wills continue to remain effective.
Even though many wills can be revoked by destroying the documents themselves, some types of wills require being processed through a court of law.
Additionally, a new will should also contain a statement that any prior existing wills or versions of the existing will are revoked.
Changes to Health Care Directives
A person should determine whether any existing health care directives list a spouse as holding health care powers of attorney. In many situations, divorced individuals decide to revise these documents to appoint another person to hold the health care power of attorney.
If a person has named an alternative health care power of agent, it is often a wise idea to appoint this individual.
Revision to Financial Power of Attorney
There are many complicated issues surrounding a divorce. As a result, many people find it important to revise their financial power of attorney as soon as the individual begins to consider a divorce, with the assistance of an estate planning lawyer.
Life Insurance Policies
After a divorce, an individual should determine whether any beneficiary designations must be changed in his or her life insurance policy. It is important to note that not every person decides to remove a former spouse as beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
If a person wants to make this change and fails to do so, however, there is a risk that a former spouse might end up inheriting a substantial amount from the life insurance policy. As a result, it is wise for people to follow a “better safe than sorry” mentality in regards to these beneficiary designations after a divorce.
Speak With an Oklahoma Estate Planning Lawyer
This article has reviewed only some of the most critical estate planning issue that a person should consider after a divorce. It is important to discuss a person’s various estate planning tools with an attorney during or immediately following a divorce.
Attorney Jim A Lyon has helped many individuals successfully change their wills to reflect their life changes. Contact our law office today to obtain strong legal counsel.