Does divorce impact previous estate planning efforts?

Does divorce impact previous estate planning efforts?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Legal proceedings may come with many steps and responsibilities. When two highly involved legal duties converge, things may seem even more complicated. Divorce proceedings and estate planning in Maryland both require significant attention. Performing both simultaneously may seem overwhelming, but an impending divorce could necessitate immediate changes to a person’s estate plan.

Basic points to grasp about post-divorce financial matters

Although a couple may finalize their divorce, there may be “loose ends” requiring closure. If an ex-spouse remains listed as the beneficiary on a brokerage account or an individual retirement account (IRA), does this reflect the primary spouse’s wishes? And would it seem wise to not fully and officially revoke a power of attorney designation that names an ex-spouse but was written long before divorce was even a consideration?

Matters related to a person’s estate may end up being addressed during divorce proceedings. The court could order that new wills be drawn up, and in some cases, doing so makes sense. Someone cannot leave a house to an heir if that property’s ownership has already been transferred to an ex-spouse. An old will could become incredibly outdated quickly.

Other areas of consideration during a divorce

Individuals may need to accept different personal and professional landscapes after a divorce. Perhaps a young adult child may need to become more involved with family affairs. Maybe designating power of attorney to a 20-something son or daughter or establishing a trust could be helpful post-divorce.

Meeting with an attorney to discuss the many different aspects of updating an estate plan may become a top priority. Working with a lawyer could lead to the process proceeding thoroughly and without delays.

Divorce may lead to unexpected responsibilities, such as revising an estate plan. An attorney could guide a client through the necessary steps.