Revisiting Your Estate in the Wake of a Divorce | Monroe Township - Middlesex County
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Revisiting Your Estate in the Wake of a Divorce

July 8, 2020

Filed under: Divorce — Laura Pennington @ 12:51 pm

Going through a divorce is difficult and it shakes up your family structure and even your day-to-day life in a big way. There are also so many legal issues that have to be handled to dissolve the marriage and allow you to move on with your own life, such as moving into a new place to live or updating your last name if you had previously taken the last name of your spouse.

 

Some marriages might end quietly, leaving you to think that you have handled all of the most important issues from a legal perspective and are able to move on successfully into your new life. However, you need to think carefully about the importance of planning and updating your estate following the divorce.

Without a spouse through whom you can anchor your estate plan, guardians, executors, trustees and agents under health care proxies and power of attorney must be reconsidered and formally updated in your documentation. These are not the only type of documents that need to be evaluated and carefully handled in the wake of a divorce. This is because separate documentation under beneficiary forms take priority outside of any wishes you make in your estate plan.

For example, beneficiary forms associated with your life insurance policy or retirement plans must be updated to reflect the dissolution of the marriage, otherwise these are legally binding and you most likely have your spouse listed as the recipient of these accounts. Make sure that you review your marriage dissolution documents to determine some of the steps you need to take. Provisions inside these agreements might call for the removal of spouses from one another’s estate planning documents and retirement accounts but it falls to you to make sure that this is carried through.

 

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