Divorce and Estate Planning

If you are dealing with a divorce, your estate plan may not be top of mind, but it certainly should be.

Generally speaking, you don’t want a soon-to-be former-spouse to be in a position of authority over your health or your finances. So update all of your key documents as soon as possible.

First up: your Will. The one that leaves everything to your surviving spouse is out. Instead, consider changing the beneficiaries in your will, or if your children are minors, a trust for your assets and appoint someone close as trustee.

That trustee can also make sure those assets are protected until they go to your children at the appropriate time.

Next, be sure that your health care proxy is updated to someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you cannot.

Third, update the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policy, retirement plans, annuities and bank accounts.

Fourth, when it comes to guardianship of you minor children don’t just expect that your former spouse will assume those duties. If he or she is unfit, or simply not interested, you’ll need a revised estae plan that includes a guardian of your choice.

And finally, don’t forget to retitle your assets. Whether it’s. your primary residence, a vacation home, your business or vehicles, your former spouse’s name should no longer appear on the title.

Divorce and its impact on your estate plan will affect your and your children’s future. So if you need help, call the Law Offices of Richard Agins or visit our contact page on this website.