May 30, 2011
The Legal side of Post-Divorce
Although you may think that the legal side of your divorce is over and done with, there are still a few points to be considered such as looking after your court orders, and making a new will. On divorce, your previous will could become invalid and you should therefore make a new one. Many people put this off after divorce but the repercussions for your family could be severe. This is also the case if you have not made one at all.
Writing a will is the best way to ensure your estate is passed on exactly as you wish in the most tax efficient manner – and this is why seeking independent legal and financial advice is essential. In some states, a divorce decree automatically revokes your entire Will and in others, it revokes only those provisions that made gifts to the former spouse, not the whole Will. Sometimes the Will might be affected by the divorce agreement or the court decree, even if the Will provisions don’t relate to your former spouse. For example, if you had left your interest in the family home to one child and a stock portfolio to another and the divorce decree awards ownership of the family home to your ex-spouse, your Will would then leave nothing to one child and probably more than you intended to the other.
There are many companies looking for your business and there are also DIY wills available but you should consult your attorney, especially as he or she is up to date with your financial and family position. Wills are quite simple to draw up if you are a qualified legal professional. Badly written wills are worthless as they have to be watertight in law. You may also need to discuss appointing a legal guardian for any children.