If you’re divorcing, you need to update your estate plan

by | Jan 9, 2017 | Estate Planning |

When you’re going through a divorce, there’s a lot for you to handle. From establishing a separate household from your former spouse to dividing assets and arranging for custody and support for any marital children, it can be overwhelming. One thing you may not immediately consider while going through a divorce proceedings would be adjusting and updating your last will and estate plan to reflect the dissolution of your marriage. Failing to do so could mean that the wrong parties end up in control of your end of life care or assets, or that your estate ends up stuck in probate.

Your post-divorce last will and estate plan should be done in a timely manner

Once your divorce is finalized, you should make an appointment as soon as possible to speak with an estate planning attorney who has experience updating estate plans after a divorce. They can help ensure that everything that needs to be updated is and that the language and instructions in your last will are legal and binding. It’s important to note that the allocation of assets in your last will can not contradict your child support, spousal support, or asset division orders from your divorce. It can, however, determine how your assets at the end of the divorce are divided and allocated following your death.

Consider a trust if you are leaving assets to minor children

One of the most important reasons to update your estate plan and last will is to protect your children’s financial future. In some cases, if you have reason to believe you won’t live to see your children reach adulthood or if you have considerable assets, your estate attorney may help you with the creation of a trust. This ensures the assets are held for the children and not spent by their caregivers. More importantly, it lets you determine what age they must be before they can access the assets. Creating a trust to protect the inheritance of your children can offer you great peace of mind in some situations.

An experienced estate attorney can make sure everything is done correctly

Especially after a contentious divorce, the potential exists for your estate or last will to be contested in court. The best way to prevent your last will from being challenged and your estate from ending up in probate is to update it with the help of an experienced estate attorney. They can ensure that everything meets Wisconsin state requirements. They can also help you update your will again if you remarry in the future or add to your family in any other manner.

The best way to protect your last wishes after a divorce (or any other major life change) is to speak with an experienced estate attorney to see if changes or updates are needed to your estate or last will.


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