In what ways should a divorce affect an estate plan?

Jan 22, 2021

The decision to divorce will significantly affect finances, both immediately and well into the future. Both Florida spouses will have to adjust to new financial circumstances, and in the midst of all of the immediate changes brought by divorce, it is easy to see how some may overlook certain pressing matters, such as adjusting their long-term plans. Any major life event, including the end of a marriage, will likely necessitate changes in an estate plan.

An estate plan is a way for one to protect his or her legacy, choose what happens to wealth and care for family members in the future. Divorce will change these plans, and one of the most important steps one can take is to change and update beneficiary designations. This means removing from the will an ex-spouse as the sole beneficiary of the estate, naming a new person as beneficiary of life insurance and considering other types of accounts.

A Florida adult should consider where they want their estate assets to go after their passing. These wishes may change after changes in the family. A parent to minor children may also want to update guardianship designations for the kids after a divorce. Additionally, it may be necessary to change financial and health care powers of attorney as well.

Divorce may require changes, updates and additions to an existing estate plan. It may be helpful to discuss these issues with an experienced attorney to better understand what steps are necessary. Failure to adjust plans after changes in marital status can lead to complications for loved ones and intended beneficiaries in the future.

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