Changes an estate plan may need after divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2018 | Estate Planning

Major life events should trigger a review of the estate plan for people in Nevada, and divorce is one of those events. The first step is to review the will. The executor, which is often the spouse, may need to be changed along with other elements of the will that include the ex-spouse’s family.

People may also want to review and change beneficiary designations. These are sometimes forgotten even when other elements of the estate plan have been changed. Failing to change them can result in an ex-spouse getting retirement benefits, payment from a life insurance policy or other unintended assets.

Updating powers of attorney that deal with healthcare and finances is also important. Usually, a spouse is looked to for making medical decisions, so it is important to appoint someone who can step into this role. Finally, it is important that any changes are made are within the parameters of the divorce agreement. For example, the divorce agreement might state that the person is allowed to remain on the life insurance policy or that the title for the home must be transferred.

Whether or not a person gets a divorce, will planning and other estate planning should never be seen as a one-time activity. Other events that could trigger the need for a review include births, deaths and marriages in the family as well as a significant change in assets or tax laws. Sometimes, a person’s relationship with a loved one changes so that someone new needs to be selected to fulfill various roles in the estate plan. People may also want to review any trusts they have created to ensure that they serve the necessary purposes. For example, when children are no longer minors, their parents might want to make different arrangements for them in the estate plan.