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3 Reasons Why You Must Rewrite Your Estate Plan After A Divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2013 | Estate Planning, Firm News |

Challenged By A Divorce

After a divorce, many people can feel challenged by the circumstances of their new situation. Even for couples who split up after the children have left the house, it can still feel like a life changing event for those involved.

Thinking About The Children

As the property and possessions are divided up according to the divorce decree, many folks turn their thoughts to their children.

Once the divorce process is complete, it is important to rewrite your estate plan. This would typically include your will, health care directive, HIPAA authorization, power of attorney, and possibly a trust(s). Minnesota law deals with single people differently than married couples when it comes to the estate.

The process for rewriting an estate plan after a divorce can be quite simple. In a typical divorce proceeding, the assets of the couple are tallied up and then divided. With this information already complete, creating the estate plan can be much simpler.

The next step is to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to draft the appropriate documents now that your ex-husband or ex-wife will no longer be a beneficiary.

3 Reasons Why You Must Rewrite Your Estate Plan After A Divorce

So what happens if you do not rewrite your estate plan after a divorce?

  1. The State of Minnesota may decide how to distribute your assets after you pass away. This may not be the way you intended.
  2. If you have minor children, there is the possibility that any assets you may leave them may be taken by your ex-spouse if they are to take custody of the children in the event that you pass away. If this happens, your ex-spouse may have different ideas on how to handle those assets.
  3. Your estate planning documents may be quite old, so it is usually a good idea to review them periodically anyway. Especially with your health care directive or HIPAA authorization, it is very important to keep these documents up to date. If your health care directive has people listed that no longer live near you or have been deceased (such as a parent or guardian), it will not be of much use when the time comes to use it.

After a divorce, it is a good time to review your financial standing, determine your assets, and then rewrite your estate plan. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that your children are protected is very valuable during a time like this. It is wise to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney soon after the divorce proceedings to make sure that you and your loved ones are prepared.

Bill Peterson is a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney with over 40 years of experience as a lawyer. He can help you plan for the future by creating a Minnesota Estate Plan. For more information, please visit http://www.mnestateplan.com or call toll free at 952-641-7312.

The contents of this video are for information only and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. For personal legal advice you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in probate law or estate planning.