Should I Revise My Estate Plan After Divorce?

estate planning after divorce
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Divorce demands estate planning revisions.

You have recently divorced your spouse.

This process is neither simple nor pleasant.

Even if things end somewhat amicably, there is still the challenge of legal paperwork to make it official.

Many divorces trigger extreme emotions and relational tension.

The last thing you want to do is trigger more planning and paperwork.

According to a recent Wealth Advisor article titled “How to Revise Your Estate Plan After Divorce,” more planning is exactly what you need to do.

Prioritize estate planning after your divorce.
Divorce requires you to reevaluate your estate plan.

If you created an estate plan with your former spouse, you will need to revise it after your divorce.

If you do not take action, your ex could inherit all of these assets.


Fortunately, both Kansas and Missouri law nullify bequests made to an ex-spouse in a last will and testament created during the marriage.

If you created a trust while married, you may have limitations on what you can do after a divorce.

Some trusts can be revoked.

The assets can then be included in the divorce proceedings.

If you have an irrevocable trust with marital property, you may be unable to remove your ex as the beneficiary of the trust when you die.

You will need to updated beneficiary forms connected to your IRA, 403(b), 401(k), and life insurance policies.

Request change of beneficiary forms for your accounts and investments.

If you fail to make these updates, your ex could inherit these outright.

If you have adult children, you may be able to grant them powers of attorney, name them as executors, or designate them as trustees.

If you have minor children, you will need to select a guardian in case both you and your ex die.

Divorce is far more complex than a legal change in status.

You should work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to meet your new needs after divorce.

Reference: Wealth Advisor (July 7, 2020) “How to Revise Your Estate Plan After Divorce”


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