How Your Divorce Involves Your Estate Plan

Getting divorced is a lot more complicated than just breaking up. That may be the understatement of the century. Going through a divorce often means negotiating, mediating, moving homes, splitting custody of children, and sometimes even going to court. What can get often overlooked in the whirlwind of all that is one of the most important parts of going through a divorce: updating your Estate Plan.

If you have never made an Estate Plan, then creating one should be your first priority. Although many people have heard of a Will, they often do not know that creating an Estate Plan is the only way to avoid your family going to probate court for an exhaustive and expensive amount of time. It also includes provisions for many other aspects of your life, including electing guardians for your children and long-term healthcare plans for yourself.

If you already have an Estate Plan, then it probably includes your ex-spouse in it. That means it is now time to update it! While it may sound like common sense that your past spouse would be removed, it will not happen unless you update it yourself. For instance, if you left all of your belongings to your ex-spouse in your Estate Plan, and you died today without updating it, your ex would receive all of your belongings.

That is an extreme example, of course, but it is the type of scenario that Estate Planning exists to prevent. Estate Planning covers not only the distribution of your estate (your belongings and property) and assets (your money,) but also so many more lifelong provisions. For instance, you may have elected for your ex-spouse to be in charge of your healthcare decisions if you were to be incapacitated. If you want to change that, then you need to update your Estate Plan.

Some couples remain close even after getting divorced and choose to still include each other in their Estate Plans. It is still important to make sure they are updated and relevant after a divorce even if you are not altering as much. If you moved to another state, as happens often in the wake of a divorce, your Estate Plan will also need to be updated to be valid in your new home state. Estate Plans, like probate court, are catered specifically to the state the individual lives in.

Of course, this needs to happen if you get remarried or add new family members to your situation as well. For help updating or creating an Estate Plan, contact Solan, Park & Robello today. We believe in caring for your future, and that starts with taking care of your past.

The following two tabs change content below.

Solan, Park & Robello

Solan, Park & Robello is a full-service probate and estate planning firm offering experienced counsel in a wide range of estate planning matters—from preparation to administration to litigation.

Latest posts by Solan, Park & Robello (see all)

%d bloggers like this: