The Livens Law Firm

Divorce requires changes to estate planning documents

There are numerous issues to address when a couple from Texas or anywhere around the country goes through a divorce. Issues regarding child custody and property division are typically at the forefront of the parting spouses' minds. It is likely that estate planning may not be a topic that automatically arises during divorce proceedings. Yet, the documents included in a person's estate plan should be carefully considered.

When a divorce or other significant life event occurs, it is vital to review one's estate plans. State laws regarding ex-spouses vary widely, so a thorough examination of all documents is essential to ensure that the correct people are named as representatives or beneficiaries. In some situations, such as when a couple has children together, it may be appropriate for former spouses to continue as guardians or beneficiaries. However, most other types of accounts likely require a change to new designees.

It is critical to review all documents in an estate plan, not just the will alone. While making the adjustments to the will is a good first step, this will not suffice for the individual designations. Revisions must be made in all insurance policies, bank accounts or retirement funds. Other issues beyond financial concerns should also be addressed, such as naming a power of attorney for medical decisions.

Estate planning is a complex process and requires thoughtful direction and knowledgeable guidance. A Texas attorney familiar with estate planning can provide that assistance. An experienced lawyer will help clients develop a plan unique to their individual needs.

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