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Estate Planning After Divorce

Many people create estate plans after certain events in their lives, such as getting married or having children. Estate planning is not a one-and-done deal, though. It is something that needs to be updated often as life changes.

Indeed, life is constantly changing. People die, and more are born. People marry and divorce. Assets are acquired and sold.

When these things happen, updates need to be made to estate plans. It is great to have a will or trust in place, but it is no good if it is outdated. If you created an estate plan with your spouse while you were married, you will need to update these same documents in a divorce.

There are many reasons why you should update your estate plan after a divorce. During a marriage, your spouse is given certain legal rights that are included in the estate plan. Since your relationship has changed, your estate plan should change as well.

After a divorce, your wishes will likely change. You probably do not want your ex-spouse to inherit all your assets. You also do not want your ex making decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

The best thing you can do is to be proactive about updating your estate planning documents. Do not put this task on the back burner because, as morbid as this may seem, you could die at any time. That is just the reality of the situation. When this happens, asset division will be based on what is in your estate plan, even if it is outdated. Don’t let this happen, as estate litigation can be very messy. Arguments among family members are quite common.

What Do I Do?

More than likely, you will not be able to make changes to your estate plan during the divorce process, as things will likely be changing during this time. Assets are changing hands, so what you had before the divorce could be vastly different after the divorce. Your ability to change an estate plan will likely be frozen at this time. Therefore, it is best to wait until the divorce has been finalized and you have a decree in hand.

The most important documents to review and update are your:

  • Will
  • Trust
  • Financial accounts
  • Guardianship
  • Power of attorney
  • Life insurance
  • Beneficiary Designations

Contact Us Today

When you divorce your spouse, do not forget to update your estate plan. It is important to do a thorough review after every life change.

Get the help you need from the team at Francois Williams Legal LLC. We help our clients achieve peace of mind. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you. Fill out the online form or call (301) 358-0377 (Maryland) or (954) 372-2021 (Florida).

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