Do You Need A New Will After Your West Virginia Divorce?

The subject of last wills and testaments comes up often in a West Virginia divorce. If you’ve drafted a last will and testament and everything is going to your spouse, then that is sometimes referred to as a reciprocal will. Whenever they die, everything goes to you. What will happen once people get a divorce is sometimes worry about what happens with the person’s property when the other person is named in the divorce. The answer is that whenever you get a divorce under West Virginia law, that automatically revokes anything that person would otherwise have going towards them.

This doesn’t just apply to last wills and testaments, it also applies to any kind of a testament, powers of attorneys or wills. You don’t technically have to go and get a new will done to basically keep them out of the will. However, it’s still a good idea to go and update your will no matter what because you want to make sure that it’s very clear as to where your property is going to go. There are a lot of things that actually pass outside of probate. For example, 401k’s in most instances, payable on death accounts and a number of other accounts are such that whenever you pass away, the money that’s in those accounts could go to whoever is named as the beneficiary.

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be in the clear when it comes to that. Make sure that you, number one, you update your will. That’s very important. Number two, you need to write a document that excludes that other person from having any kind of appointment power, whether it’s a power of attorney or otherwise. The third thing you should do is see if there’s any kind of other documents out there for which they are named as the beneficiary that passes outside of probate, such as a payable on death account at a bank, if you’ve got a joint account, make sure that’s separated out and that if it’s not otherwise covered in the divorce. Also, remember any kind of retirement accounts, especially in the event that it’s such that the other person was not awarded a certain share of that account.

A qualified domestic relations order is going to divide the account. However, in the case of let’s say some sort of settlement or the judge ruled that you keep your retirement accounts, the other person keeps their retirement accounts and you just go from there. Overall, it’s important after your West Virginia divorce to make sure all of your accounts are switched over because it could be that the person who is now your former spouse could be getting a lot of your property.Pritt+Feb+CTA+%281%29.jpg