When going through an Arkansas divorce, update your last will

| Jun 15, 2018 | Firm News

Couples in Arkansas ending their marriages can easily end up making questionable decisions due to lack of information or spreading their focus and mental energy too thin. They could also overlook important choices that can provide peace of mind and stability for the many years after the divorce has been finalized. 

Updating your last will, living will and estate plan as part of pre-divorce planning is key for most people, particularly if children are involved. 

Changing beneficiaries in your will can protect your loved ones

If you don’t have a will, a divorce is the perfect time to create one. In most scenarios, if you die without a will in Arkansas, the court assigns your assets to your spouse, children and other family members. In the months between when you file for divorce and when the courts grant it, if something were to happen to you, your ex would likely receive most of your assets.

If you already have a will, it likely names your ex as the primary beneficiary. Updating it to reflect your new preferences as soon as possible is in your best interests. You should also contact your life insurance company to update who receives the payout if you die.

Your living will also probably needs a few updates

It’s common for people to name a spouse in their power of attorney documents for legal and medical power of attorney. It’s good to have someone to advocate for you when you’re incapacitated and unable to make important decisions on your own behalf. After a difficult divorce, however, you may not be able to trust that your ex will put your wishes and best interests first.

Consider allocating decision-making authority for financial and medical issues to someone else you trust, such as a family member or trusted friend. You should make sure that person knows your wishes. Including written instructions about your preferences can also help ensure the person who receives power of attorney acts in accordance with your wishes.

Make sure that you think about the children

If you didn’t originally name a guardian in your last will out of hope that your spouse would handle it, now’s the time to make that decision. Naming someone, such as a sibling or a cousin you trust, to care for your children can help ensure they have the protection and support they require if anything happens to you.

If you’ve created a trust for your children, now’s the time to remove your ex as a trustee. Naming someone else who can ensure your children’s assets receive proper care and protection will provide you peace of mind and ensure that they actually receive what you’ve allocated for them.

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