An annual review of your will is a good idea for anyone, but if you’ve recently divorced, then updating your will is vital to ensuring that your remaining assets are distributed according to your wishes. Failure to make the necessary changes could mean that you lose control of who executes your estate, the content of your estate, and guardianship of your children. Following your death, these decisions could be handled in ways you never intended.
Executor of Your Estate
If your will designates your spouse as the executor of your estate, and unless a divorce settlement agreement says otherwise, upon your divorce, your ex-spouse will have decision-making authority over your holdings. In order to reflect the change in marital status, you will need to modify your documents or sometimes execute new ones to reflect your wishes.
Most people don’t want an ex-spouse inheriting their property when they die. If your will names your ex-spouse as the beneficiary of property and other assets, then it is a good idea to write a new will. Be sure to name new beneficiaries, along with alternates, who would inherit your assets if your first choice does not outlive you.
If you have a child under the age of 18, then it is a good idea to have a will that names a guardian to care for your child, in the event that neither parent is around. Your choice of guardian can be whomever you choose to parent in your absence. However, if one parent dies, the custody of the child almost always goes to the surviving parent. In the event that the surviving parent is unavailable, or if there is a dispute about the surviving parent’s custody, then the guardian designation contained in the deceased parent’s will is considered.
An experienced family law attorney like Linda Sorg Ostovitz can assist you in updating your will following a divorce. Contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (301) 575-0381 for a consultation.
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
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