Going through a divorce is a very strenuous and stressful time for a divorcing couple.

While most people are thinking about child custody issues, financial matters, dividing their assets and debts, canceling credit cards and closing bank accounts, it also creates a significant need to update your estate plan.

Because of the upcoming change in personal finances, assets and planning objectives, a revision of an estate plan is necessary for both spouses. Of course, there’s the fact that most spouses no longer want their ex-spouse to remain as beneficiary of his or her estate plan.

What Are Estate Plans?

Estate plans are typically comprised of wills, powers of attorney, insurance contracts, beneficiary designations, trusts, and healthcare directives, all of which you may want to revise after a divorce.

It is generally a good idea to update your estate planning documents after any major life events, such as a divorce or a death in the family. Doing so ensures that information within those documents reflects any changes in the circumstances of your life or in the lives of your family members.

If a married person fails to change his or her estate plan after a divorce and then dies, the possibility exists that the ex-spouse may take a share of the decedent’s estate, or may take under the terms of a beneficiary designation.

While a divorce automatically terminates some of the ex-spouse’s rights, in many cases it does not.

Understandably, divorce and death are not fun things to think about; however, divorce is one of the most important times to update an estate plan – or create one.

Working with a qualified attorney, estate planning can be relatively simple and straightforward. Contact the attorneys at the family law offices of Heath Baker today to learn about what other changes should be made to your estate plan upon divorce, or to start an estate plan today.