Do you already have a will? If you made your will prior to your divorce, it is likely that you will need to make some changes after you and your spouse separate. Not only does divorce nullify a will but you will probably want to make arrangements for an alternative guardian for your children, should the need arise, and arrange to have money placed in trust to pay for their expenses until they are old enough to take care of themselves.
The type of will you make will depend greatly on whether or not you have children, how old they are and whether you have other dependents such as elderly parents. While having a small estate does not mean you can do without a will, having a large estate makes it even more imperative to take care of this issue immediately.
What Does A Will Do?
It is important to remember that a will is simply a tool to do a certain job. In this case, the job is to direct the court on how you want your assets distributed after your death. A will can be used to protect your heirs from undue tax burdens and to name a guardian for your children.
However, a will cannot completely control the outcome of what happens after you die. For example, you can name a guardian for your children, but this does not supersede your former spouse’s right to custody. It simply informs the court as to your wishes if your former spouse is unable to care for your children.
Additionally, a will is only good if it is probated or enforced by a court. In other words, if you make a will and no one knows about it, the document cannot be enforced and your wishes will not be honored. Therefore, it is very important to share information about your will with your executor, the person you appoint to administer the will. This should be someone you trust who ideally has little to no financial interest in your estate.
What Should I Do About My Will?
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to consider the implications of any will you have made or will make. The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are happy to work with you on this issue and discuss your options in making a good will after your divorce.