Few events are as life-changing as a marriage ending. While it may represent a sad milestone, proactive steps are paramount to ensure that the brand new chapter in your life reflects your estate planning objectives.
An estate plan is a snapshot of a specific time and circumstances. Significant changes in your life, specifically a divorce, necessitate revisiting the all-important documents. Proactive revisions to documents is paramount whether you draft a new will or write a codicil to the original.
Maintaining the “status quo” by not removing your spouse as a beneficiary can create uncertainty during a difficult time for grieving loved ones.
Proactive steps to protect assets
The moment the divorce process begins is the moment you should move forward in selecting a new beneficiary and executor. You will also need to account for marital property transferred to you following finalization. Should you and your spouse not be around to raise your kids, a mutually agreed-upon guardian should be appointed.
Any inheritances designated to your former partner listed will no longer be transferred upon the finalization of the divorce unless you both agree to keep those gifts in place. Step-children and other relatives of your ex-spouse are also potentially excluded.
In addition to updating estate planning documents, items outside of the will also require your attention, including asset transfers, property transfers, and retirement account changes.
Divorce alone is a challenging and complex legal process. Adding estate plan revisions only add to the burden during a difficult time in your life. Legal help from a skilled estate planning attorney can ensure that your will and other documents reflect your wishes.