After the Divorce: Updating Important Documents

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Changing Information on Important Documents after a Divorce

If there is anything that is strongly advised by a lawyer; it is to update any shared important documents between you and your ex-spouse. It is common to get caught up in the emotional stress that comes with divorce, but there are important issues that need to be addressed immediately. Failing to make changes to your will, life insurance, etc. might just leave your ex inheriting your property and assets.

It is normal to want those you love and your children to be taken care of if something were to happen to you. However, if your will is not updated with your current marital status and the status to whom will inherit your assets, this could be beneficial for the wrong person.

Keeping your will up to date becomes a vital priority during a divorce. Every State is different when it comes to how a divorce will affect a will. Oregon and Washington both have a provision that  states a divorce “will revoke all provisions in the will in favor of the former spouse”. This means your ex-spouse will be precluded from inheriting your assets. While this provision does provide some protection from your ex inheriting your assets,  it can create a great deal of ambiguity in how your final wishes are carried out. It is always best to update your will to ensure that your intent is crystal clear and your wishes are accurate and explicit.

There may be an unexpected incident leaving you unable to make decisions for yourself or your family. Your will dictates what initiatives need to be taken in such an event. Usually, your attorney will take on this job just to make sure things are taken care of during your incapacitation. Additionally, you must appoint an executor who will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are carried out as they are stated in your will. It is also advised that you let the person know they will be named as the executor in your will.

When meeting with your lawyer to discuss your decisions and the division of assets, it is wise to come in with an outline of “who gets what”, and “who does what.” When deciding on an executor it is in your best interest to choose someone you fully trust and will comply with your wishes after your death.

Consult your divorce lawyer if your ex is being unreasonable with any sort of insurance plan changes. These are assets that need to be protected to ensure that your loved ones receive everything that was intended for them. If updating documents after your divorce is something you are currently dealing with then talk with a divorce attorney and your insurance companies immediately to avoid any issues that could emerge.


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