How Divorce Affects Estate Planning

A Home Being Split After a Divorce

Going through a divorce can be a challenging and often painful experience, but the legal process doesn’t end when the divorce is finalized. Instead, it can have far-reaching effects, even in unexpected areas, such as estate planning. Divorce can have a significant impact on your estate plan, which is why it’s essential to consult with a skilled estate planning lawyer in Hernando County, FL, before and after filing for divorce. In this post, we’ll explore the ways in which divorce can affect estate planning and why you need to take action to protect your interests.

Changing Beneficiaries – One of the critical aspects of estate planning is choosing who will inherit your assets upon your death. After a divorce, your former spouse will usually be removed as a beneficiary from your will, trusts, and any other financial instruments where they were named. If you forget to update your beneficiaries, your ex-spouse may still be legally entitled to a share of your assets.

Custody of Your Children – After a divorce, you may want to update your estate plan to reflect the new custody situation. For example, you may want to change guardianship details for minor children, or you may want to revise the distribution of assets for adult children based on their new financial situation.

Updating Powers of Attorney – Before and after a divorce, it’s crucial to consider updating and revising your Powers of Attorney documents. These documents name individuals who will make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. If your ex-spouse is still named in these documents, they may legally have control over your healthcare and financial decisions.

Asset Distribution – Divorce can make it necessary to revise your estate plan to ensure your finances and assets are managed according to your wishes. You may wish to ensure that your assets are distributed to children, trustees, or beneficiaries who you trust, rather than your ex-spouse or their heirs.

Tax Implications – Divorce can impact your estate tax obligations, and you may need to take this into account when creating or updating your estate plan.