Is Estate Planning Affected by Divorce

If you and your spouse had prepared an estate plan while married, the items listed are likely to be unchanged as far as your spouse being the one to make decisions upon your death or incapacitation. However, after divorcing you may not want your ex to have the same access they would have as before. This is why you should have your estate plan revised to reflect current executors.

Although your estate plan may be nonexistent, you may have your ex listed on an insurance policy, bank account, or retirement accounts. These accounts and documents will list your ex unless these are updated with another person listed as beneficiary.

Below are some of the documents that you should have updated once you have divorced.

Advanced Directives

When a will was created, you also likely had advanced directives planned out on top of it. When you have named your ex in these documents, they will need to be updated or have new documents written up with a different beneficiary. This update can be done without waiting for the divorce decree.

Updating A Will

The laws of each state govern if your will can be updated before, during, or after the divorce. Having a will updated serves many good purposes. Having a will created is beneficial and as you create one, make sure to have it free of errors and never full of items crossed out and looking messy.

Updating Trusts

When you have a living trust that is revocable or trusts are set up for children, you need to take a look at them and ensure their accuracy. Many of these trusts will be jointly made in case one spouse passes. The beneficiary may also become your ex if you do not make an update to your trust accounts.

Update Your 401k and Insurance Policy

When a death occurs, many items do not get added to the estate plan or get passed through wills. These items involve different account types such as the following:

  • Life insurance
  • Financial investments
  • Individual Retirement Account (IRA), 401k
  • Savings account

Ensure Your Estate Plan Is Current

When you are divorcing it is important to have your estate plan updated to reflect the changes you make. You also need to ensure that your documents are listed with current executors and beneficiaries. If you need assistance with updating your estate plan during a divorce, then get a hold of us to get started today.

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