Of all the difficulties inherent in a divorce, the impact on existing estate planning documents often gets overlooked. There are many reasons to take a close look at your estate plan when getting a divorce. We will explore some of the most compelling reasons in this blog post.
Concerns over inheritance
If you have established a last will and testament, you might want to review it upon the dissolution of your marriage. Even if you want to keep your ex-spouse in the will, you may want to amend the share of assets he or she is entitled to. Going forward, if you get married again or have children with another person, you will need to update your will and other estate planning documents to reflect these changes.
Access to your accounts and sensitive information
If your now ex-spouse is designated as your power of attorney or health care proxy, he or she will maintain that position until your estate planning documents are amended. In the event you become incapacitated and these powers go into effect, it is probably not ideal that your ex-spouse will have this control over your bank accounts and sensitive information. You can give yourself peace of mind by finding a new trusted agent to take over these responsibilities for you.
Trusts for minor children
If you have established trusts to provide funds to children from your marriage that is ending, your ex-spouse will have control over those funds in the event you pass away, provided the beneficiaries are still minor children. If the trusts are amendable, you may want to consider appointing a new trustee.
Get legal help for both practice areas
While these issues are complex, you can navigate them with the help of an experienced attorney. By working with a law firm that handles both divorce and estate planning matters, you can get the knowledgeable legal guidance you need from a single source, rather than having to hunt for a separate attorney for each issue.