Revisiting Your Estate Plan After Divorce

If you are in the middle of a divorce or have just gotten out the other side, you know how profoundly it affects every part of your life. At Fraser, Wilson & Bryan, we have handled many family law cases, so we understand the emotions you are experiencing due to this major life event. At some point, when the dust begins to settle, you need to take another look at your estate plan. 

It is frustrating to have to change so many things about your estate plan that you painstakingly crafted, but we promise the process will be manageable. 

1. Change your power-of-attorneys. Chances are, you gave your ex-spouse medical and/or durable power of attorney. You need to promptly name another trusted representative to whom you may give power of attorney. If you want your ex-spouse to continue to have this power, you still should sign new powers of attorney to specifically allow that authority.

2. Change your Will. Some states have laws that effectively presume your ex-spouse to be predeceased in your Last Will and Testament if it goes into effect and you didn’t get around to changing it, but to be sure, you can simply go ahead and revoke your Will. This can be accomplished by literally tearing up the physical document into pieces, which can be cathartic in many ways. Of course, you must also have a new will prepared. If you have minor children, it will be especially important to name the guardians you want to raise them in the event of your and their other parent’s death or handle any property you leave them. 

3. Change your beneficiary designations. Revise your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other investments to no longer include your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. 

4. Consider changing guardianship of your children. If you pass away and your ex and minor children survive you, there is a good chance that your ex will end up being the guardian anyway. However, if your ex-spouse has committed domestic violence or has substance abuse problems, you need to include a clear way for the courts to designate someone else to act as your child’s guardian. 

5. Pick someone else other than your ex-spouse to be a trustee. Many parents create trusts for their children that they may access when they turn 18. You may not want to keep your ex as the trustee for the trusts that you continue to fund, so consider who you want to name as a successor trustee. This is often your parent, sibling, or very trusted friend.


There is so much to think about and address in the midst of a divorce that forgetting to update your estate plan is completely understandable. If you need compassionate legal help revising your estate plan or with any family law matter, Fraser, Wilson & Bryan, PC  would be happy to serve you.

Please call us at 254-965-7270 today to begin with a free initial consultation.