Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

Happy, smiling couple in their sixties.

How does the end of your marriage affect your estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

If you are planning to go through a divorce in 2022, you are far from alone. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are roughly 750,000 divorces in the U.S. every single year. While divorce is exceedingly common, it also can be overwhelming.

It probably makes sense initially to focus your mental and emotional energy on your divorce rather than your estate plan. Nevertheless, the end of your marriage is likely to require an update to your will and other planning documents.

What needs updating?

Divorces naturally change the makeup of the family. After your marriage ends, you may not want to leave assets to your former spouse. You also may not want him or her making medical decisions for you or benefiting from a trust or insurance policy.

To protect your interests, it is important to review all your planning documents to ensure they continue to reflect your genuine intentions. If they do not, you probably want to update them as soon as possible.

When should you revise your estate plan?

You likely have the option of revising your estate plan whenever you want. Provided there is no legal order preventing you from removing your spouse as your beneficiary or agent, you can probably rework your estate plan before you file for divorce, before your divorce becomes final or even at a later date.

Because it can be easy to make rash decisions during any divorce, you should be certain you are thinking clearly and effectively before tinkering with your estate plan. Ultimately, though, it is advisable both to read through your estate plan before filing for divorce and to discuss your concern with your estate planning attorney and your divorce attorney.