A person can have a great deal on his or her mind when getting a divorce. Given this, there are a lot of things a person who has just gone through a divorce may be tempted to put off for awhile. However, there are some things it is critical to not procrastinate on following a divorce. One of these is estate planning. Estate planning missteps can have major ramifications for a divorcing person and his or her family. Today we’ll go over two estate planning mistakes it is critical for individuals to avoid following a divorce.
Failing to have a plan
Procrastination is a trap many people fall into when it comes to estate planning. So, a person who has gotten a divorce might not have an estate plan. When this happens, he or she might be tempted to keep putting off having one. However, this could leave him or her unprepared should unexpected tragedy occur.
In the wake of a divorce, individuals may have very strong wishes about who they would, and wouldn’t, want to get their assets when they pass away. If tragedy were to cut their life short before they got around to estate planning, such wishes may very well go unfulfilled.
Failing to update a plan
There is also a critical mistake people who already have estate plans could make upon getting divorced. This is failing to update their plan. A divorce changes a person’s overall financial and asset situation. It can also trigger major shifts in who a person would want to give financial support to upon death and who they would want serving important roles in their estate plan. Additionally, it can lead to changes in who a person would want to serve as guardian of his or her child if he or she were to pass away. Failing to update the various parts of one’s estate plan, including a will and beneficiary designations, to reflect these changes could result in a person having an estate plan that doesn’t serve his or her needs and goals.
When creating or updating an estate plan in the wake of a divorce, avoiding legal mistakes that could lead to estate planning documents not being formed properly or not functioning the way they were intended is critical. Skilled estate planning attorneys can help divorcing individuals with avoiding legal pitfalls when it comes to post-divorce estate planning.