It’s extremely important to understand that the same way a beneficiary’s name on an insurance policy does not change because you are divorced, neither does your will. Your best bet: start working on a new estate plan, while you wait for your divorce to become finalized.
If your will leaves everything to your spouse when you die, regardless of your marital status, that person, whether you are separated or divorced, will still get it all. There is no automatic exclusion created by the divorce.
Hometown Life’s recent article, “After divorce, examine all aspects of estate planning,” says that this gentleman definitely should redo his estate plan.
If he leaves his estate plan as it is, it could mean a fight over interpretation.
In most states, the probate court typically may find that because he failed to make a change after his divorce, it was the man’s intent to continue to have his ex as his beneficiary.
He should speak with his estate planning attorney—and soon—to make things crystal clear and to remove the risk of fights and costly legal battles.
At the same time when he’s redoing his will, he should also review his medical and durable powers of attorney. People often forget to change their beneficiaries on insurance policies, IRAs or investment accounts. These also need to be updated.
For individuals, whenever you have a change in your family situation, like a birth, adoption, death, or divorce, you should review your estate plan.
If you have been divorced or are newly separated, chances are good you need to redo your estate plan. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Reference: Hometown Life (February 7, 2018) “After divorce, examine all aspects of estate planning.”