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Why update your will after your divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | estate planning

You are encouraged to begin the estate planning process early on in your adult life in Greensburg. Yet it is important to remember that estate planning is just that: a process. Much may change throughout your life (including the people that you wish to benefit from your estate), which is why it is important to revisit your estate planning instruments regularly to see if they need to be updated. 

One event that should prompt you updated your will is a divorce. You might fear the prospect of you dying and leaving behind a will that leaves a bulk of your assets to your now ex-spouse. Many might say that it exactly what will happen if you do not update your will immediately following your divorce. Yet according to Section 6111.1 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes, any conveyance of property made in an estate planning instrument that benefits your ex-spouse became invalid the moment your divorce was finalized. In the eyes of the law, it is as if they preceded you in death. 

Of course, this does not take away the need to update your will following your divorce. Your divorce does not also automatically mean that you should completely exclude your ex-spouse from any aspect of your estate. Ultimately it may be in the best interest of you both of they remain included to a certain degree. Say that you have young children that you name as your primary beneficiaries after your divorce. If you die before they reach the age of majority, who will help to manage the assets they stand to inherit. For this reason, it may be beneficial to name your ex-spouse as a trustee over your kids’ funds so that they can manage those assets until the kids are old enough to do so on their own.