How Divorce and Remarriage Can Affect Your Estate Plan
June 7, 2017
Life has its ups and downs, and over the course of a lifetime, we all make decisions that impact our lives — both in the present and in the future. Divorce and remarriage are two of those life changes that of course have profound impacts on our lives. But while they impact our day-to-day lives, these changes can also have a major impact on your estate plan.
Divorce and remarriage are often hectic or tumultuous times in our lives. There are many small changes that are being impacted by these large decisions, and sometimes the details can fall through the cracks. But making timely updates to your estate plan following a divorce or prior to or just after remarriage is extremely important. Here are eight important tips to keep in mind if you’re going through a divorce or are planning remarriage:
- Timing is essential. It’s important to visit your estate plan with your attorney as soon as possible after a divorce, or once you make the decision to remarry.
- Changes from divorce aren’t the same as marriage. Divorce can potentially open up some more complicated changes to your estate plan than when you were married, including establishing trusts for your children (rather than leaving all of your assets to your spouse — or now, ex-spouse).
- Your next step will determine the best steps. If you are planning on remarrying soon, you may have different decisions and changes to make than if you plan on staying single for the long run.
- Update beneficiaries ASAP. Visiting your beneficiaries on things like retirement accounts (eg. 401k, IRA), insurance policies and pensions is recommended as soon as possible upon a divorce or when you remarry.
- Go through your entire estate plan. You may also have to update your power of attorney, health care proxy and will upon a divorce, and again if you choose to remarry.
- Pay attention to your divorce plan. Depending on your divorce agreement, you may be required to keep your former spouse listed as a beneficiary on some elements of your estate plan.
- Remarriage requires up front communication. Communication with your new spouse about the estate plan and working out the details together is important.
- Make the right decisions. Choosing and working with the right estate planning attorney is critical.
Whether you’re going through major changes due to divorce or remarriage, or you’re simply in need of an estate plan, we are here to help. Contact us at 235-5885 to schedule a free consultation.
Related Topics: Estate Planning
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