Altering an Estate Plan After a Divorce

Getting married or having children can be wonderful life altering events. After one of these events, you may feel encouraged to update your estate plan. Unfortunately, less pleasant events could prompt you to alter the estate plan as well. Divorce is among the more common negative life experiences. An attorney, like an estate lawyer Sacramento relies on, can be a valuable tool when arranging how your assets will be divided not only during the divorce, but after passing away as well. If you fail to update your plans, your assets could be distributed against your current wishes. ? In general, after a couple marries, they will share similar goals or life plans. If the couple gets married young, they often develop their estate together. Usually, spouses will appoint one another as the sole beneficiary and executor of their estate. Some states already have laws in place protecting their estate from being awarded to an ex spouse after passing away; should they fail to update their will beforehand. However, even if there are laws in place that may impact how your assets will be distributed, it may be unwise to rely solely upon them. Laws may change, you could misunderstand how the laws will be interpreted; whatever the case may be, it could be beneficial to seek advice from an estate planning attorney. ? Consider meeting with an attorney to discuss any changes in your estate planning situation. While meeting, the following revisions should be addressed after experiencing a divorce:
  • Review ownership structure of assets
  • Update beneficiaries on retirement plans
  • Overview beneficiaries that are allocated to inherit assets
  • Update beneficiaries on life insurance policies
  • Add or remove any beneficiaries who should or should not receive your assets
It will benefit you to update beneficiaries and associated documents following the divorce. By making the appropriate updates, you can set the beneficiaries you wish to inherit your assets. If you remarry or have additional children, you may wish to make additional changes. Thankfully, estate plans can be altered as life changes may occur. Experiencing a divorce is often a stressful and painful process. The obstacles associated with a divorce can be difficult to address. However, it is in the best interest of your estate to make appropriate changes as soon as possible. Accidents do occur and could leave your family members left to fight for your assets in probate court. Having a plan in place can provide relief for you and for the outcome of your estate. Contact an estate planning attorney immediately following a divorce. The attorney may be able to help you make necessary adjustments to your estate plan after experiencing a divorce.  
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning after divorce.

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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

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