Post-divorce estate considerations

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning experts in Texas recommend that residents begin the estate planning process early on in their adult lives. Those who follow this advice put themselves in a good position should they meet an unanticipated end. However, simply writing a will does not end one’s estate planning; rather, there is a reason why many define it as a process.

Indeed, life-altering events may occur that could prompt one to revisit their estate plans. One such event is a divorce. Given that (according to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the divorce rate in the U.S. stands at 2.7 for every 1,000 members of the total U.S. population, one should know what to expect should this occur in their own lives.

The effect of divorce on an estate

The great fear that many with an interest in an estate have is that if a settlor fails to update their will following their divorce, their ex-spouse could still benefit from their estate (contrary to their wishes). However, according to Section 123.001 of Texas’ Estates Code, any provision of a will the disposes property, delegates authority or nominates to any powers of appointment to an ex-spouse become void once one’s divorce becomes final.

Should one still include their ex-spouse in their estate?

Yet even with no threat in place for one’s ex-spouse to benefit from their estate, one should still revisit their will following their divorce. However, completely removing one’s ex-spouse from their estate may not actually be in their best interest. Depending on one’s situation, there still may be a place in one’s estate for an ex-spouse. That may be as the trustee over any assets that one plans to leave to their minor children should they die unexpectedly.