Going through a divorce can be extremely overwhelming. Not only are there are host of emotions involved, but there are many issues that must be negotiated when dealing with the divorce decree. One matter that must be considered is that of the estate plan. Whether you have already created an estate plan or you have yet to organize your estate, it is important to keep in mind a few factors when dealing with divorce.
One way to ensure your property and assets are given to your desired beneficiary, it to set up an irrevocable trust. When a trust is in place, the estate may avoid probate and go directly to the beneficiaries. Furthermore, you will want to clearly distinguish what is marital property and what is separate property. While marital property is eligible for division in the divorce settlement, separate property may stay with the original owner in some cases. This will help you know what to include in your estate plan.
Once the divorce is finalized, you may want to revise the beneficiaries listed on your estate plan. This include beneficiaries listed on your pensions, 401k plans and term life insurance policies. You may wish to take your former spouse off the financial documents and put another beneficiary in his or her place. Be sure to check over your estate plan and documents regularly to ensure nothing has changed, especially after the divorce is finalized.
This information is intended to educate and should not be used for legal advice.