ESTATE PLANNING ISSUES FOLLOWING DIVORCE (PART 1 OF 4)

The emotional turmoil of divorce can be overwhelm­ing or liberating depending on ones perspec­tive. While it is commendable and responsible for families to do estate planning, there are some issues to be considered following divorce.

(1) If your original plan was to leave everything to your now ex-spouse and then to your children, your ex-spouse may still get ev­erything if you do not modify your estate plans following divorce.

(2) You also do not want to leave your children in a position to be disinherited should your ex-spouse re-marry following the divorce.

Divorce does not need to cause future legal problems.

Update your Beneficiary Designations 

Following a divorce, the items below should be amended unless you want to leave everything to your ex-spouse:

  1. Beneficiary designations for the following financial instruments:
    •  Employer retirement plans
    •  Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
    •  Life insurance
    •  Annuities
    •  Health savings accounts
  2. Transfer on Death (TOD) investment accounts
  3. Payable on Death (POD) bank accounts

Because assets pass to a named beneficiary pass under operation of contract, this designation supersedes the your will, should you have one. If no changes are made, your ex-spouse who was originally designated as the beneficiary will be entitled to the benefit, despite the existence of a will or trust designating otherwise. Beneficiary designation will always trump a will or intestacy laws.

Should you want to speak with an estate family attorney to discuss your beneficiary designations and determine a personalize estate plan for your life after divorce, contact


​ Attorney Melissa O’Connor at:
Call:  954-637-1300
Email:  melissa@oconnorelderlaw.com