How Your Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans

Going through a divorce will have a significant impact on just about every aspect of your life. For many things, adjusting and adapting to the changes just happens naturally. For other things, such as estate planning, you will need to take the time to fix it yourself. If you fail to have your estate plan properly updated after a divorce, it can result in your assets going to people or places that you would not like, or significant delays for your loved ones.

Don’t Rely on Automatic Updates

In Florida, some aspects of an estate plan are automatically updated as a result of a divorce. This is a good thing as it can help protect your assets but relying on those automatic changes is a big mistake. For example, according to Florida statute Section 732.507(2), provisions of a Will that have an impact on the spouse will become void upon divorce. If the Will is not updated and you pass away, the Will shall be administered as if your ex had also died while you were married. In most cases, this is not going to be how you would like things handled.

Updating Charitable Giving

A large number of people have at least a portion of their estate directed toward charities that are important to them. The charity listed in your estate plan is likely something that was decided upon by both you and your now ex. While you may still want to give to that particular charity, you also might not. Legally speaking, if you don’t make the update after the divorce, your assets will still be distributed as listed in your plan. After a divorce, you will need to review where all your assets are going, and update them where needed.

Impact on Insurance Policies

Life insurance policies are often a big part of an estate plan, and in most cases, your spouse will be listed as the primary beneficiary. If you don’t update the beneficiary, it can cause a significant amount of confusion and even delay. While technically section 732.703 of Florida statutes says that your ex wouldn’t have a claim on your life insurance, it doesn’t mean that the money won’t go where you want it. In addition, if your life insurance policy wasn’t updated properly, they may improperly issue a payout before realizing the divorce had taken place. These types of potential issues can be avoided by updating your estate plan as quickly as possible after a divorce.

Get the Help You Need

Depending on the specifics of your estate plan, there are many other potential issues that can result from a divorce. Having an estate planning attorney review all your documents with you can help to discover every potential concern, and get them fixed. Contact ProActive Legal Care to begin this process and protect your estate today.

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