Crossing off “create will” from your to-do list is really just the first step with estate planning. In order to stay on top of all aspects of your planning, you must continue to revisit your documents and verify they still reflect the most recent version of your wishes.
It’s not uncommon to want to revoke or update your will, and you’re well within the bounds of the law in California to do so. You can revoke your will in a few different ways, but the easiest is to destroy the old will and then create a new one with the guidance of a Pasadena estate lawyer.
By burning, tearing, or destroying your most recent will with the intention of revoking it, you show your goal to create a new will for estate planning purposes.
In addition, your new will can state that it is your intention this new document is a reflection of your desires to revoke the previous will. Per California Probate Code, if you and your spouse divorce and your will previously included provisions naming that spouse as a trustee or executor, these provisions are automatically revoked.
Start by looking at all the provisions in your previous will to get a better understanding of which things need to be updated or removed entirely.
However, it’s up to you to verify that these changes are made across the board, such as in your beneficiary designation forms as well. If you have questions about what to do after getting a divorce or making other big changes to your estate planning documents, consider sitting down with a Pasadena estate lawyer to walk through your choices.