William Daniel Powell

William Daniel Powell is a San Diego attorney that focuses his practice in the Estate Planning area helping families and individuals with Estate Planning needs. This is his regular blog where he writes on various subjects relating to estate planning and estate law.

Apr 23, 2016 | 0 comments

What happens to your Estate Plan if you get a divorce?

Divorce is a mess. I know first-hand. There are several things you should consider after some of the smoke clears. If you don’t have an estate plan, now would be a great time to get it done. If you do have an estate plan, you will want to make some changes.

California has a law that after divorce, any gifts in your Will to your now ex-spouse are revoked. Even so, it is best to create an entirely new Will. One of the reasons is that your Will is used to name a guardian for your children. If you have children with your ex-spouse, and barring any ruling to the contrary, if one spouse dies, the court will most likely award the surviving spouse custody. In the event that both parents are unavailable, your designation of a Guardian may control who raises your children depending on the circumstances. You will also want to change the Executor and Beneficiaries named in your Will.

Be Active, Be Through

Some things to consider:

  • First and foremost, talk to an Estate Planning Attorney like myself
  • Re-do your Will
  • Re-do your Revocable Living Trust
  • Change the beneficiary on the various accounts you own where you’ve named your now ex-spouse as the beneficiary such as:

Life Insurance

Power of Attorney

Health Care Power of Attorney (also called an Advance Healthcare Directive)

Retirement accounts

Bank accounts

  • Check your vehicle titles
  • Check your deeds to any Real Property

As I said before, divorce is a mess. I can help you clean-up your estate plan and help you get these things behind you so that you can move forward with your life.

Please feel free to give me a call today and we can review your situation and Estate Plan goals.

William Daniel Powell (Dan)



Just like my website, nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am licensed to practice law in California. Further, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog (and on my website). There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would not be practical to discuss all of them here. This is why I speak in generalities. Thanks again for reading.


This document is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice. Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship. If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.