How do I update my estate plan after a divorce?


Regardless of how amicable your divorce may be, you will still be stressed by the intricacies associated with the legal process and major life changes taking place. As you grieve the end of your marriage, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to protect your hard-earned assets. This includes updating your estate plan to reflect your current circumstances. The last thing you want is to wait until the divorce is final to rework your estate plan. In the unfortunate event that you die or become incapacitated while undergoing your divorce, you risk your former spouse obtaining complete control over your assets. To prevent this from happening, it is critical to update your estate plan while undergoing a divorce. Do not put it off until it’s too late. Keep reading to learn how to change your beneficiaries after a divorce and discover how a skilled Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney can help you protect your assets. 

How do I modify my estate plan after a divorce?

When you realize there is no hope for reconciliation, you should update your estate plan to reflect your latest life changes. If you fail to do so, you risk your former spouse gaining power over your life and assets. To prevent this, you should change your power of attorney. If you designated your former spouse as your durable financial power of attorney and your medical power of attorney, you will have to appoint someone else to control all of your legal, financial, and medical decisions in the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated. If you do not want your former spouse to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf, you need to make these changes as soon as possible once you know the split is inevitable.

From here, you must change your beneficiary designations. This is a critical step as it will protect assets that do not pass through a will or trust such as retirement plans and insurance policies. It is imperative to note that in most states neither spouse can legally alter their beneficiaries without the other party’s permission until the divorce has been finalized. That being said it is critical to change your designated beneficiaries before filing your divorce petition. If you fail to change your beneficiaries before filing for a divorce, you may not be able to name new beneficiaries until after a judge signs your divorce decree. However, once you have dissolved your marriage, you can modify your estate plan without restrictions to reflect your current circumstances.

If your divorce is imminent, you need one of our determined and trusted attorneys on your side. You can count on our firm to help you protect your hard-earned assets and make necessary changes to your estate plan to reflect your latest life changes. Contact us today so we can help you update your estate plan to ensure your former spouse does not obtain control over your life or assets after you’ve passed away or become incapacitated.