How could divorce change your estate plan?

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Estate Planning

Getting divorced is never as simple as signing a piece of paper. First, the emotional and psychological adjustment to the end of your marriage can take a long time. From the legal perspective, it can feel like there are a thousand things you must do before your marriage is officially over under Florida law.

Most people know that getting divorced means things like dividing up your marital assets, figuring out a child custody plan, and potentially deciding whether one spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance. Unfortunately, many newly divorced people forget how their new marital status could impact their estate plans.

Did your estate plan become out of date upon your divorce?

It’s not uncommon for people to start their estate planning shortly after getting married. If you did, you probably made your spouse your primary or sole heir in your will and beneficiary of your trust. You likely named them your durable power of attorney in case you become mentally incapacitated so they can take over your financial affairs and make medical decisions on your behalf. You probably also named them as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and your retirement savings.

That all made sense while you were married and planning to be partners for the rest of your lives. But do you really want your ex inheriting your estate or making important decisions about your health or wealth? For most people, the answer is no. (Though there are exceptions.) But unless you update your estate plan as soon as possible, that is exactly what will happen.

Your plan is not set in stone

Fortunately, updating your estate plan is not difficult with the help of your estate planning attorney. The two of you can review your plan and make changes tailored to your current relationships and priorities. And if you get married again someday, you can update your plan again.


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