Divorce is a major life event that can alter the effectiveness of your estate plan. If you’re considering divorce, there are steps you need to take before, during and after to protect your estate.
Check with your estate planning attorney or your divorce attorney about any community property laws in your area. While you can disinherit a spouse in your will, the law remains the same. Which means your spouse could still inherit an augmented value of your estate. Augmented refers to your estate’s total minus any claims, funeral expenses or administrative fees your estate goes through.
Consider making changes to your plan immediately to prevent any mishaps down the road. If you were to die before your divorce was finalized your spouse could still inherit your estate; therefore, fixing your estate plan early can prevent this.
Once your divorce is finalized, your spouse no longer has a right to your assets under the law. You will still need to alter your estate plan (if you have not already) to remove your spouse from any inheritances. Make sure your designated beneficiaries on bank accounts and retirement accounts are also changed – otherwise your spouse could still inherit your retirement savings.
If you’re facing a divorce, contact your estate planning attorney immediately. Your attorney can review your estate plan and help you make changes that are necessary to protect your family and your assets before, during and after the divorce process.