Going through a divorce or separation can be stressful and the amount of paperwork can be burdensome, whether you hire a divorce lawyer or not. Because of the amount of paperwork, it can be easy to overlook small, but important details. One task you do not want to overlook is changing your will. In North Carolina, a best practice is to change your will at least by the time the divorce process is finalized through a Divorce Judgment, or when you execute (sign) separation paperwork. Many reasons exist for hiring a lawyer to change your will after divorce, including:
You don’t want your ex-spouse to get anything
Although this goal is obvious, there must be active steps taken to protect your assets from your spouse after you pass. Imagine the process of going through a divorce and dividing your assets, but having your will pass all your assets back to your ex-spouse after you pass away? This is a classic example of how important it is to revise your will after monumental life events such as divorce.
Your kids may need protection
Writing your spouse out of your will is obviously a popular reason for revising your will. However, it’s not just about stopping your ex-spouse from receiving anything after you pass away. You also want to consider the fact that your assets should go instead to your children. If you have been married multiple times and/or you have children from different marriages, it is important to contact a divorce and estate planning lawyer to help you make sure your children are protected.
You may want to add people into your will
Although you may have just gotten a divorce, or you are in the process of divorce, it does not mean you’ll be alone the rest of your life. If you have a new companion in your life that you care deeply for, you may want to rest assured that your assets will pass to him or her. Keep in mind that if you are not married to this new companion, the only way that your assets will pass to them is through a will.
Although changing a will is not difficult, it important to always have an attorney revise and re-draft your documents to ensure that they meet North Carolina law, and that the new will reflects your new wishes.
This post is provided for informational purposes only, and is neither intended as legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. To speak to an attorney, contact Dugan & Leger, PLLC at 910-253-5400.