Although the number of divorces throughout the country have risen over time, the process certainly has not become any easier for those who have to endure it. The effects of a divorce can be long lasting and far reaching even affecting areas that you would not immediately think of, like an estate plan. If you have recently gone through a divorce, the last thing that you want to think about is dealing with any more documents. However, it is important to update the documents that comprise your estate plan following a divorce. If you have questions regarding an update to your estate plan, contact a Tennessee estate planning attorney at The Higgins Firm.
There are a number of documents that a divorce can affect. You should be sure to update all of your financial and legal documents to reflect your new status. Some of these changes can be as easy as changing a name or an address while others may be a little more involved.
Update Your Will
Following a divorce, you will likely want to draft a new last will and testament to revise who will inherit any assets from you. Also, you likely will want to nominate a new executor to handle the affairs of your estate. While a divorce will revoke the former spouse’s ability to inherit property under a will in Tennessee, it is important to clarify these changes in a new will to avoid any potential confusion. If no one other than your former spouse is listed as a beneficiary under your will, any assets will pass according to Tennessee’s intestacy laws. In updating your will, you may choose to leave your assets to your children, a sibling, or some other loved one who may need the assets. However, the important part is that your will reflects your current wishes rather than reflecting any outdated wishes that could end up distributing assets according to set intestacy statutes.
Update Beneficiary Designations
After a divorce you will want to update any beneficiary designations on any account that you may have. These accounts may include life insurance, retirement plans, annuities, transfer on death bank accounts, etc. These designations are very important because they will supersede anything otherwise specified in your will. A former spouse can still recover by being designated as a beneficiary on these accounts despite the divorce and any changes to your will.
Update Any Directives or Powers of Attorney
Similarly, you will want to update any health care directives or Powers of Attorney that you may have. These changes will ensure that you current wishes are reflected regarding any potential medical care that you may need. If you are ever unable to make a decision for yourself regarding your care, you will want the appropriate people to make any of those decisions. Otherwise, an outdated health care directive could create a sense of confusion in a time of great need which could further complicate an already possible delicate situation.
Contact The Higgins Firm to Update your Estate Plan
If you would like to update your estate plan following a divorce or other major life change, be sure to contact a Nashville estate planning attorney at The Higgins Firm. Our team of Tennessee estate planning attorneys would be happy to guide you through the estate planning process.