Steps for Estate Planning Following Divorce

Many decisions must be made as part of a divorce. The parties need to resolve issues regarding their finances as part of the process. As spouses go their separate ways, there are some steps for estate planning following divorce that should be reviewed. Discuss these matters with a qualified attorney to determine how to protect your interests during your divorce and after your marriage ends.

Make Changes to Your Will

The first and most basic consideration after a divorce is a change in the beneficiary of your last will and testament. This change should be made immediately to protect you and your loved ones in case of an unexpected situation. Since you no longer want to leave your possessions to your spouse, you must name a new beneficiary. You may need to make arrangements for special circumstances, such as when you both still own your home.

When changes are made to a will, they must be properly administered. Confusion in a will can keep an estate tied up in litigation for years. Make your intentions clear, and be sure that you indicate that the old will has been revoked with the new will in place. The new document thus becomes the only one that is legal.

Implement Modifications to Living Trusts

Living trusts are often set up by couples to benefit their children. The trust may still be effective if utilized in that way. You should review the content of the trust to ensure that changes are made to the areas that require modification. Trusts can be extremely complex and therefore are best reviewed with the assistance of an attorney.

Review Advance Directives and Power of Attorney

Advance directives and powers of attorney are instructions for the handling of your health care and financial concerns should you become incapacitated. As with your will, you should review these matters and make the necessary changes as soon as possible after your divorce is complete. Again, the previous documents must be revoked and replaced with a new living will.

You should avoid any possible problems and protect your loved ones by making any changes necessary. Contact the experienced lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation to discuss all of your legal needs during and after a divorce.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Estate Planning Following Divorce, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.