Required

After a Divorce, Change Your Estate Plan, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


One of the first things that you should do after a divorce is finalized is to change all of your estate planning documents to reflect your new life circumstances.

People react in a couple of different and predictable ways when their divorces are finalized. Some people are sad while others are elated. Nearly everyone, however, thinks that after a judge signs an official decree of divorce, everything is finalized and they are legally free of their ex-spouses.

That is not necessarily the case if you have any end-of-life or estate planning documents.

A recent Forbes article titled The First Thing You Must Do When Your Divorce Is Final” illustrates this concern.

If your ex-spouse’s name is still on estate planning documents, then many of them will still be legally enforceable. For example, if your ex-spouse is named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a trust, your ex-spouse will still be a beneficiary until the documents are changed.

If your ex-spouse is named as a power of attorney, then your ex-spouse will still have that authority. The one document that might not still be valid as written is a will as many states will strike any will provisions that include an ex-spouse if the will was created before the divorce was finalized.

Although not changing your will to exclude an ex-spouse means you do not get to determine who should get the assets instead.

What this means is that after getting a divorce you need to review your estate plan and make any necessary changes. The one caveat? You should not disobey any orders made during the divorce.

For example, if you were required by the terms of the divorce to leave your wife as a beneficiary of a retirement policy, then you must continue to do so for as long as required.

Reference: Forbes (Aug. 14, 2016) “The First Thing You Must Do When Your Divorce Is Final.”

Suggested Key Words: Estate Planning, Divorce

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben