Estate Planning When Divorced or Widowed 

Thousand Oaks Estate Planning Attorneys

Whether due to divorce or death, you find yourself single again.  Your life has changed in a major way and your estate plan needs to reflect that change.

Thousand Oaks Estate Planning for the Recently Widowed or Divorced

Planning for Incapacity

Because both death and divorce terminate the appointment of a spouse as an agent under a power of attorney, ensuring that you have someone in place to make decisions, in case you can’t, is critically important.  Did you know the law requires every adult to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions?  Now that you are divorced or widowed, who would make those decisions if you were legally incapacitated due to a serious illness or injury?

Unless you legally appoint a decision-maker in a power of attorney, a judge will select one for you in a process known as a conservatorship.  A conservatorship is a lengthy and expensive process that makes your personal and financial information a matter of public record and is a major inconvenience for your loved ones.

Avoiding Probate

The loss of a spouse could also subject your estate to probate if you don’t ensure that your will or trust contains provisions for alternate beneficiaries.  In the absence of proper estate planning, your assets may be distributed after death according to state laws that provide a one-size-fits-all plan for those who haven’t expressed their own intentions.  Additionally, assets such as IRAs and life insurance could end up in probate or even getting distributed to your ex-spouse unless beneficiary designations are properly updated! Read more about how you can Update Your Plan.

Our Thousand Oaks lawyers are here to help you.  Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to learn how our law firm can assist you in creating or updating your estate plan after becoming recently divorced or widowed.