It’s important to follow your estate plan before, during, and after divorce. This is especially important when it comes to your will and divorce.
A will is a legal document that provides instructions of how you want your assets to be distributed in the event of your death. There are three types of wills that can be created in the state of California a holographic or handwritten will, a statutory will and a will prepared by a lawyer.
• A handwritten or holographic will is not as strict as other wills like for example, there is no need for witnesses at the signing of the will, nor does it have to be authenticated. It must be handwritten and legible with the date and signature.
• A statutory will is provided by California law that is simply a “fill-in-the-blanks” and is used by people with small estates.
• A will prepared by a lawyer can be extremely beneficial to your executor and beneficiaries in the long run. An experienced attorney can offer suggestions and help you understand the many ways that property can be transferred.
Regardless of the type of will, there are factors to consider during the divorce process. Typically you have your spouse on your will but in the event of a divorce you will have to revoke your will. California allows you to amend your will before your divorce is final. This is important to do especially in the case of an unexpected death. If you die during the divorce process, your soon-to-be former spouse will be entitled to any assets left to them on your unrevoked will. Once divorce is final, a court will automatically invalidate any inheritance to your former spouse contained in your will. Simply revoking your old will and signing a new one with updated beneficiaries will protect your assets.
Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you with divorce and your estate planning. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process. Brett Thorsteinson is a divorce lawyer who will advocate for your rights.
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