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Updating Your Estate Plan Following a Divorce in Arizona | Hildebrand Law, PC

Wed 22nd Nov, 2017 Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys

When a married couple goes through a divorce, one of the most important steps they must take is to update their estate plan.

Estate planning documents can become outdated and invalid if they are not regularly reviewed and updated when necessary.

After a divorce, it is essential to ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your current wishes and reflects any changes in family dynamics.

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Changing Beneficiary Designations in Your Estate Plan After a Divorce in Arizona

One of the primary reasons why someone should update their estate plan after a divorce is because they may need to revise their beneficiary designations.

In many states, including Arizona, all references to your former spouse will be automatically revoked unless otherwise specified in the document. However, that could leave you with no beneficiaries or an imbalance in the distribution of your estate to the remaining beneficiaries.

This includes beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, bank accounts with pay-on-death (POD) provisions, and other assets with designated beneficiaries.

Changing the Person With Powers Under a Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney

If you are divorced, it is highly likely you do not want your former spouse to have the powers granted to him or her in the Financial Power of Attorney and/or Medical Power of Attorney contained in most estate plans.

Likewise, it is very likely your spouse who is your chosen Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney in your estate plan.

It is for this reason, you should immediately revoke those powers of attorney from your spouse when you start the divorce process in Arizona.

The attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC have experience drafting and modifying estate plans and can handle both the divorce case and removing your spouse’s on those powers of attorney.

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Changing Personal Represenatives or Trustees in Your Estate Plan After a Divorce in Arizona

Another reason why you should update an estate plan after a divorce is that you may need to make changes regarding personal representatives or executors of your will or trust.

During marriage, joint revocable living trusts are often created with each partner as the co-trustee and co-beneficiary of the trust.

However, when spouses separate or divorce, it is usually necessary for one partner to be removed from both roles within the trust document and replaced by another individual whom you designate as successor trustee(s) and/or beneficiary(ies).

Changing the Appointed Guardian for Your Children in an Estate Plan

Another important consideration for those going through a divorce involves making sure all necessary paperwork related to guardianship has also been updated accordingly.

If either spouse has minor children from either this marriage or previous relationships then it’s important to name new guardians in case both parents were no longer able to care for them due to death or incapacitation.

Additionally, if there are existing custody orders surrounding those minor children it’s important that those documents reflect any changes made due to situation like remarriage of either parent or relocation away from the area where custody orders were originally established.

Leveraging a Life Tenancy Estate for Real Property in a Divorce in Arizona

Updating an Estate Plan After a Divorce in Arizona.

It’s also wise for divorcing spouses who own real property together – such as a house – at least consider entering into what’s called “a life tenancy agreement” which allows one spouse lifetime occupancy rights over certain real property even after ownership has transferred fully into just one party’s name following June 30th 2021 .

Life tenancy agreements allow one spouse continued use without having concerns about being forcibly removed so long as he/she continues occupancy until death – regardless if title was transferred fully into just one party’s name previously.

Be sure you consult with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through all necessary steps so that all information is updated correctly according state laws & regulations.

Taking this proactive step can potentially save time & money down road while ensuring peace mind that wishes & goals are carried out properly upon passing away.

Arizona Divorce and Estate Planning Attorneys

If you have questions about changing your estate plan before, during, or after your divorce, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and estate planning attorneys have decades of combined experience successfully representing clients in legal divorce and estate planning cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your family law case around today.

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