Divorce—whether it is a source of heartbreak or relief, or both—complicates things. It is life-changing not only during the process of divorce itself but also following the signing of the divorce decree. Even after two people have long gone their separate ways, a divorce can have an effect on each person’s life and finances—including their estate plans.
You may not have known this, but if you have divorced (whether recently or not), it’s essential that you take a look at your estate plan.
If you and your former spouse created an estate plan while you were married, your plan will require updates after your divorce. This is especially important if, like most people, you left property to your ex-spouse in your will, you named your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, or you designated your spouse as the executor of your estate. Even if your divorce was relatively friendly, you may not want to leave everything to your ex-spouse. Instead, you may want to leave your possessions to your children or ask a trusted relative to handle your estate.
Necessary updates to your estate plan may include the following:
- Revocation of the old will and creation of a new will
- Changes to the beneficiaries of insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc.
- Designation of a guardian of your children
- Designation of an executor of your estate
- Designation of financial and health care powers of attorney
- Re-titling of property
If, on the other hand, you haven’t yet created an estate plan, your divorce may affect the approach and instruments involved in your estate plan. For example, a divorce will reduce your estate tax exemption by half, affecting the tax advantages of your estate plan. In addition, if you have children from your first marriage and decide to remarry, you may need to consider a premarital agreement in order to be able to leave most of your estate to your children.
All of this sounds—and is—complex. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. With help from an experienced, understanding Dayton estate planning lawyer, you can quickly and easily take care of your estate plan—giving yourself and your family peace of mind.
At Lovett & House Co., LPA, we understand that estate planning can often seem difficult, complicated, and even scary. This is why we strive to make the process as simple as possible, offering guidance and answers tailored to your unique situation, every step of the way.
We help you prepare for the future so that you can enjoy the present. Call us today for a consultation to find out what we can do for you.