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Property division: Are wills a concern after a divorce?

Marriage between two people is often described as the joining of two lives. The joining of two individual's lives often involves the merging of bank accounts, debts, real estate property and families. Some individuals may find the negotiations of property division difficult in the divorce process. Once a divorce decree issued, individuals may need additional legal counsel from a skilled Pennsylvania attorney involving important legal documents that may mention a former spouse.

When wills are written during a marriage, the majority of a perosn's estate often is left to the spouse. Attorneys likely agree that it is important to make amendments to all legal documents following a divorce such as wills, living wills and life insurance policies. In the event that death occurs before a will can be changed, one Pennsylvania law prevents a former spouse from receiving an individual's estate if a divorce has occurred.

Many people who have a will may also have other important documents such as a living will or life insurance policy involving a former spouse. In the event of a medical emergency where an individual cannot make health care decisions for him or herself, it is important to request in a living will a designated person for healthcare decisions. If a spouse had been designated during a marriage, it is recommended to amend the document following a divorce if a change in a healthcare advocate is desired. In addition, it is important to check life insurance policies and designated beneficiaries.

Prior to making changes in any of the documents, it is wise to review the intended changes with a family law attorney. In some divorce decrees, individuals may agree to specific terms that could limit the changes in legal documents such as life insurance policies. A skilled Pennsylvania attorney can assist a client with all aspects of a divorce, property division and other details that may need to be arranged following the final decree.

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