ESTATE PLANNING ISSUES FOLLOWING DIVORCE (PART 1 OF 4)
(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:
- Beneficiary designations for the following financial instruments:
• Employer retirement plans
• Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
• Life insurance
• Health savings accounts
- Transfer on Death (TOD) investment accounts
- 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