Once your divorce is final, you might feel like the hard part is over. You and your spouse have divided your property and separated your finances, and you are ready to move on with your life.
An important task it is easy to overlook after your divorce is updating your will. There are various sections of your will that probably need updating.
Can I update my will before my divorce is final?
You can update your will before your divorce is final; however, it might be better to wait until it is finalized, to avoid having to go back and make additional updates if anything changes in your divorce terms.
Compare your will with your divorce property division agreement. Some of the property in your will may have gone to your former spouse, so it will need to be removed.
Executor and beneficiary designations
When you drafted your will, you appointed an executor, which is someone who will take care of distributing the property according to your will after you die. If your executor is your now-former spouse, you may want to appoint someone else, such as a trusted friend or family member.
Review your beneficiary designations. While you can continue to keep a former spouse as a beneficiary to accounts or insurance proceeds, most people do not want to do that.
How to update your will
There are various ways to update your will. You can add a codicil, which is a modification to your old will detailing the changes.
You can also simply revoke your old will and draft an entirely new one. This might be an easier option after a divorce, as it reduces the chance of confusion, or something being overlooked.
The best way to revoke your will is to tear it up and physically destroy it. After that, a meeting with an estate planning attorney to plan and draft your new will is a good idea.