If you are going through a divorce, you will have a number of things to
deal with, including your
estate plans. If you have created an estate plan with your soon-to-be ex, you will
need to take steps to remove them from your plan. An experienced estate
planning attorney can go over your documents with you to ensure that your
spouse is removed completely from your plans.
If you are going through a divorce, you may need to revise your:
- Powers of attorney
- Advanced Health Care Directive or living will
Guardianship of your children
Divorce & Your Will or Trust
In Arizona, there are laws that prevent ex-spouses from collecting from
inaccurate wills. If you haven’t changed your will after your divorce,
your spouse’s provisions will be ignored if the will goes through
probate in court. If the will is handled privately, however, it is possible
that your will may be honored as written. It is important to ensure that
your will is changed to reflect your divorce and that your ex is removed
from your will.
Your trust may be handled differently than a will would. If you have an
irrevocable trust, your ex-spouse may be entitled to your estate. When
making an irrevocable trust, it is important to specify that language
such as “husband” or “wife” should be applied
to the individual to whom you are currently married, and not a specific
person, such as an ex-spouse. If your will is revocable at the time of
your death, it is likely that it will be interpreted to exclude your ex-spouse.
Divorce & Power of Attorney or Guardianship
In Arizona, power of attorney can be revoked at any time by the person
who instituted it. You must notify your spouse in writing if you wish
to revoke their power of attorney. If power of attorney includes guardianship
of minor children, this appointment is only revoked after the final divorce decree.
Divorce & Your Living Will
Your living will or medical directives dictate the treatment and interventions
you wish for if you are incapacitated or dying. If your spouse is listed
as an agent on your medical directive, you will need to ensure that they
are removed from that position. Similarly, your soon-to-be-ex should be
removed from any insurance policies, pension plans, or other contractual
agreements that will provide payments to your spouse.
As soon as you file for divorce, you should remove your spouse from your
end of life plans. Even if divorce automatically removes your spouse from
your plans, it is important to ensure that they are removed without complications.
Should something happen to you before the final divorce decree, your spouse
will not be able to collect inheritance or wield power of attorney.
Are you going through a divorce? Our Phoenix
estate planning lawyers can help you remove your spouse from your estate planning documents
and revise them to match your current situation. At
Thies & Lihn, PLLC, our team has more than 30 years of collective experience to draw from
and we offer personalized client service to suit your needs.
Contact our team by calling (602) 900-9860 to request a
free case evaluation.