Don’t Let Your Estate Plans Fall Through the Cracks Following a Divorce

If you’re going through the emotionally and financially exhausting divorce process, chances are that you haven’t given much thought to any estate plans currently in effect. Sooner or later (preferably sooner), though, you will have to address this important issue. Otherwise, your assets could end up being distributed in ways that you don’t want.

Change Your Will

If you get divorced and fail to update your Will, any provisions made for your former spouse in your Will may be invalidated and alternate beneficiaries will inherit that property. If you did not name alternate beneficiaries, then your property will be distributed according to Tennessee laws of intestacy. To ensure control over the distribution of your assets, revoke the old Will and create a new one.

Name a New Executor

If you don’t want your estate to pass on to your spouse, chances are that you don’t want them to serve as executor either. A divorce revokes their earlier appointment as executor and your alternate choice, if you named one in your will, would fulfill the role instead. To simplify matters, do not rely on state law alone: appoint a new executor.

Revise Life Insurance and Payable-on-Death Accounts

Many divorced individuals forget to remove their former spouses as beneficiary on life insurance policies and payable-on-death (POD) accounts, and when they die, their ex receives a generous sum. To avoid shortchanging your intended beneficiaries, make the necessary changes as soon as possible.

Alter Power of Attorney Arrangements

If you had previously authorized your former spouse to make important financial and healthcare decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated, change those documents right away. Name someone you can rely on to carry out your wishes and act in your best interests.

Set Up a Trust for Minor Children

If you pass away while your children are still minors, any assets you leave to them will be subject to a guardianship until they reach legal age. In most cases, the court will entrust the children’s other parent (your ex) with administering those assets for their benefit. If you don’t trust your former spouse to act wisely, establish a trust for your children and designate someone responsible to manage it for them.

If you have recently been divorced and need assistance with setting up or altering your estate planning documents, contact McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC today. We have worked with many clients to draft, review, and revise estate plans to take their changed circumstances into account and validate their new wishes regarding the future.

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McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC

McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC was founded by Attorneys Joanna McCracken, Irwin Kuhn, and Demi Marks with the goal of approaching family law in a new and innovative manner.

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