Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA
Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA

Trusted In The Columbus Area
For More Than 40 Years

Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA

Trusted In The Columbus Area For More Than 40 Years

Newly divorced? Update your will ASAP!

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2017 | Post-divorce Estate Planning |

Just after your divorce, you may be focusing on starting your new life. Perhaps you are looking for a new place in Columbus because the home you previously shared with your husband no longer feels rights.

You may be busy resettling your children or dealing with the emotional stress that often comes hand-in-hand with divorce. While you are trying to adjust to your new situation, there are certain things you should not put off or let slip through the cracks, such as your will.

If the worst happens, the last thing you want is your ex-husband calling the shots if you previously granted him certain permissions. For example, if you have named him as your power of attorney in a health care directive, he gets to make the calls should you have an accident that leaves you incapacitated.

Furthermore, you certainly would not want him to inherit all of your property and assets. Your attorney should be able to advise you when it comes to making changes to your will either while you are going through the divorce process or as soon as an Ohio judge signs off on your divorce decree.

Choosing a new executor

Before you even set foot into your attorney’s office, it is best to make some preparations. There are certain decisions you can make prior to the meetings to help things move along a little faster. Decide whom you want to list as your new executor. Be sure to choose someone you trust to handle all the responsibilities that come along with closing out a decedent’s estate.

Updating beneficiaries

If your current will includes your ex-husband as a beneficiary, it is definitely time to update the list of heirs. Take the time to make other necessary changes, such as indicating at what age you want your children to inherit your property. In addition, take time to remove your ex as beneficiary on any retirement accounts or life insurance policies.

Name a new power of attorney

Since we never know what tomorrow will bring, it is important to name a power of attorney who make decisions on your behalf if you are not in a position to do so. Choose an individual you trust to make health care decisions for you. You can choose the same person that you name as your executor or you can choose a different person. When you have an option in mind, speak with that person before you name him or her as the power of attorney in your will. Be sure this individual agrees to the duty and understands the accompanying expectations.

As soon as you have decided to move forward with your divorce, start taking steps to update your will and other items that might include your husband as a beneficiary. The last thing you want once you complete the divorce process, is for him to get a portion of your assets when you intend for your children to receive everything.