A divorced man with two adult children is still working. He plans to work at least another 10 years. He did his will a few years before he divorced and hasn’t made any changes. As it stands now, the will leaves everything to the spouse and, if she predeceases him, then to his two children.
Should he change his will now that he’s divorced or is his wife automatically excluded because of the divorce?
Hometown Life’s recent article, “After divorce, examine all aspects of estate planning,” says that this gentleman definitely should redo his estate plan.
If he leaves his estate plan as it is, it could mean a fight over interpretation.
In most states, the probate court typically may find that because he failed to make a change after his divorce, it was the man’s intent to continue to have his ex as his beneficiary.
He should speak with his estate planning attorney—and soon—to make things crystal clear and to remove the risk of fights and costly legal battles.
At the same time when he’s redoing his will, he should also review his medical and durable powers of attorney. People often forget to change their beneficiaries on insurance policies, IRAs, or investment accounts. These also need to be updated.
For individuals, whenever you have a change in your family situation, like a birth, adoption, death, or divorce, you should review your estate plan.
Whether you need changes to your estate plan depends upon your individual situation. If a person is divorced, it’s a dead giveaway that his estate plan needs to be redone.
Reference: Hometown Life (February 7, 2018) “After divorce, examine all aspects of estate planning.”