The Importance of Updating Your Will When Divorce is Imminent

Divorce can be traumatic for the whole family. Even if the process is amicable, it involves many tough decisions, legal hassles, and painful emotions that can drag out over several months, or even years.

That said, while you probably don’t want to add any more items to your to-do list during this trying time, it’s absolutely critical that you review and update your will and estate plan — not only after the divorce is final, but as soon as possible once you know the split is inevitable.

Even after you file for divorce, your marriage is legally in full effect until your divorce is finalized. That means that if you die while the divorce is still ongoing and you haven’t updated your estate plan, your soon-to-be-ex spouse could end up inheriting everything. Maybe even worse, in the event you’re incapacitated before the divorce is final, your ex would be in complete control of your legal, financial, and healthcare decisions.

Given the fact you’re ending the relationship, you probably wouldn’t want him or her having that much control over your life and assets. If that’s the case, you must take action, and chances are, your divorce attorney is not thinking about these matters on your behalf.

While some state laws limit your ability to completely change your Will once your divorce has been filed, you should consider making permissible changes as soon as possible when divorce is on the horizon – at minimum, making changes to your power of attorneys and beneficiaries.


This article is a service of Lexern Law Group, Ltd.  We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love.