Estate Planning Before, During and After a “Gray” Divorce


Before your divorce, you may have insurance policies, a Will or Power of Attorney that benefit the other spouse, or that names the other spouse as an executor. Before filing for divorce, you may want to make changes. Sometimes changes are prohibited after a divorce is filed, so check with your attorney. You may not want your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to have powers under a health care or general power of attorney — especially not when there is a lot of conflict and life/death decisions are at stake.

During your divorce, an Estate Plan can be a relevant part of a property settlement agreement. Sometimes, spouses agree to create trusts for each other or have will provisions that benefit the other spouse — even after the divorce. For example, the couple may agree to set aside funds in a trust to pay for a spouse to go back to school in order to re-enter the workplace. If the spouse decides not to go back to school for some reason, then that money is not lost. It can revert back to the first spouse or be used for other purposes.

Also, it is important for your attorney to review Estate Planning documents created before the divorce, because you may have taken action that limits what you can do with certain property during a divorce.

After the divorce, you will want to revise your Wills, etc. In most states, former spouses are automatically excluded from serving as trustees or estate administrators or from receiving under your Will. Your Will should be in compliance with what you agree to in your divorce. We recommend that all of our recently divorced clients review and revise their Will and Estate Plans.

Tessmer Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can assist you with a complete Estate Plan suited to your individual needs. Contact us today for a consultation at 210-368-9708. Remember, we are your San Antonio attorneys putting families first!

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