One vital step is often overlooked by people considering or starting the process of divorce in Texas, but it can be one of the most critical issues for their financial futures. Before the process is over, make sure your estate plan reflects the significant changes you are going through.
While you are considered legally married until a judge signs your divorce decree, you can take steps to protect your assets by naming someone other than your spouse to have control over your estate and limit your soon-to-be ex’s rights as a beneficiary.
Estate planning Issues to consider
There are several key documents to revise and actions to take when your divorce is final, including:
- Give your divorce settlement papers to your attorney, so they know what obligations you are under to your ex-spouse
- Update your health care proxy who will make medical decisions for you
- Revoke an old power of attorney that named your spouse as your agent and instead designate a trusted family member, friend or advisor
- Revise your will and trust, so your former spouse is not the executor or trustee and has no control over your estate or trust
- Pay attention to any life insurance requirements in your divorce settlement and make sure payments are made if they are stipulated in the decree
- Revise beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, brokerage and retirement accounts
- Consider a prenuptial agreement if you are getting remarried
Seek knowledgeable legal advice
Divorce can be an emotionally-draining and contentious process that can also result in financial consequences if you don’t protect yourself. An attorney experienced in family law and estate planning here in Texas will fight for your rights to make sure your estate and future are protected.