Almost everything about your family changes when you divorce, which means that your estate plan needs may also shift. Although probate judges may recognize the inaccuracy of a last will that primarily benefits an ex-spouse, that is not always the case.
If you recently filed for divorce or finalized one, then you probably need to consider updating your estate plan.
You may not want your spouse to receive assets or insurance
It is common for a married person to name their spouse as the primary beneficiary in their estate plan and recipient of their life insurance benefits.
Even if your spouse will assume custody of your children in the event of your death, you probably don’t want them to directly inherit your property or receive your insurance payout.
If you have children that your ex would assume sole custody of if something were to happen to you, then putting assets or insurance benefits into a trust can prevent your ex-husband or wife from squandering that inheritance before your kids turn 18.
It’s unlikely for you to want your ex to have authority post-divorce
People often empower their spouses in their advance medical directives or powers of attorney to handle medical decisions, financial issues or even business matters on their behalf.
Removing your ex from your estate plan includes stripping them of any authority they would have through your living will in the event of your incapacitation. You want people you can trust to act in your best interests to fill these important roles, not your former spouse.
Reviewing your estate plan after a divorce can help you protect yourself and your legacy.