Life After Divorce: Estate Planning Edition

During the process of divorce, there is a litany of life-altering tasks an individual needs to do. A task that tends to get overshadowed by the process, is updating the necessary estate planning information. An estate consists of the property, both real and personal, which the decedent (deceased individual) owns at the time of death.

When it comes to real property, that pertains to the land and the improvements that occurred on that land:

  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Other mineral interests

As for personal property, this pertains to all other property other than real property including:

  • Cash and bank accounts
  • Clothing and personal effects
  • Household furnishings
  • Motor vehicles
  • Stocks and bonds,
  • Life insurance policies
  • Government, retirement, or employee benefits

This update could be tailored to creating new documents or making amendments to the previously created estate documents. One may ask the urgency to address the estate documents and I will tell you why:

Editing Estate Documents

It is imperative for an individual to make amendments to previously created estate planning documents with their former spouse. Normally, those documents would give the spouse responsibility to make a decision on a plethora of crucial life decisions. These stem from estate documents, such as the Trust, Will, Deeds, Medical Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, and Directive to Physician.

  • Trusts (In reference to the Co-Trustee role): Upon your death, the trustee has the authority to easily and quickly transfer the trust property to other family, friends, or unknown individuals, against your wishes.
    • Deed to the House
  • Will (In reference to the Executor role): Upon your death, the executor has the ability to take care of your funds and property after your death.
    • Medical Power of Attorney: The individual ensures your health care wishes are honored.
    • Durable Power of Attorney: The individual takes care of your finances.
    • Directive to Physician: To spell out your end-of-life wishes; If you do not sign this document, the Power of Attorney has the ability to make the decision, on your behalf.

Establishing Estate Documents

It is important for an individual to create estate planning documents after the divorce proceedings. After the divorce proceedings, the Court establishes a litany of stipulations, tailored to each particular case, and the future of all parties. When an individual creates the necessary estate planning documents, they eliminate the possibility of any individual to make decisions against their desired will. For example, an individual can exclude a sibling’s spouse, who they may view as untrustworthy, from decisions as an executor. When specific information, such as the details above, is not specifically outlined, it may provide access to individuals that may not act in the best interests of the estate.So, how do you want your future to be determined? Have you sufficiently prepared your future, but also your beneficiaries’ future for when you are no longer capable of making decisions? Why wait? Contacting a probate estate lawyer from a law firm Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. It is vital to establish the necessary instructions for your estate. Therefore, do not delay the process that will produce a sense of relief and security for you.