3 Tips for Reviewing Your Estate Plan After Divorce
The divorce process can be long and grueling, leaving many who emerge on the other side with little desire to engage in further legal matters. However, the finalization of a divorce doesn’t mean the matter can be totally put to rest. Life after a divorce is different from the life that preceded it, and your records should reflect that.
The period directly after a divorce is an excellent time to take a fresh look at your finances, especially your estate plan. With a life change as drastic as divorce, it’s typical to make certain adjustments.
Unless you want your ex-spouse to inherit a significant portion of your estate, you should study, seek professional legal aid, and get to work reviewing your estate plan.
1. Think About Revising Your Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament will likely be the first document that needs to be updated. This might seem like an intimidating task, but the right divorce attorney will have the skills and expertise necessary to make the process feasible and even easy for you.
There are many ways to update your estate plan documents, but the most straightforward way to update your last will and testament is to revoke it. By revoking it, you render it legally null and void. This allows you to start over from scratch.
There are very few people who don’t learn new things about themselves and those around them in the process of a divorce. As you make these discoveries, it will likely be appropriate to reflect them in a totally new last will and testament.
2. Review Any Living Trusts
Whether you had a living trust or not before embarking upon your divorce, it will be useful for you to establish one in the aftermath. A living trust designates the beneficiaries and trustees who will receive your estate after you die and is meant to disperse your estate in a manner that aligns with your wishes.
Just as with a last will and testament, if your ex-spouse is listed as a beneficiary on your living trust, you can simply revoke it and write a new one. This is, again, the simplest and most straightforward way to update your estate plan following a divorce.
A living trust can also be used in the event that one party is granted permission to live in the family home. In a situation wherein one spouse has been granted the right to remain in the home for life and/or until the children reach the age of maturity, a living trust can serve to protect the property from creditors or future spouses.
3. Finalize Your End-of-Life Plans
You also need to update your end-of-life plans. In the case that you are incapacitated or gravely injured, your spouse would likely be the one assigned with making decisions on your behalf. This would obviously need to be changed following a divorce.
Fortunately, changing your end-of-life plan is as easy as changing any other. Again, you can simply revoke your plan and write a new one.
If you or someone you know in the Metro-Detroit area is in need of legal advice pertaining to divorce, call Gucciardo Family Law.
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