‘Til Death Do Us Part: Estate Planning After Divorce

By September 3, 2014Estate Planning

Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday, July 02, 2014.

By Melissa G. Nolan

During a divorce, property and assets will be divided and custody and support of children will be determined. Due to the major changes in your life, you’ll need to update your estate plan after the divorce is finalized or your property could be distributed in ways that you neither expect nor desire. Below are areas that require consideration and review.

Last Will and Testament or Living Trust:
If you’re like most people, you probably left your property to your spouse. When a person gets a divorce in Missouri, any provisions in favor of the ex-spouse are automatically revoked. Yet, the rest of the will or trust remains the same. If there is not a successor beneficiary listed in the documents then your property will pass by law to relatives you may not even know. Thus, it is recommended to change beneficiaries and your executor (or a personal representative) in the will to reflect your present desires and family changes. In addition, review the guardianship provisions for minor children to make sure you and your ex-spouse are on the same page about who will care for your children in the event of your death.

Powers of Attorney:
If your ex-spouse has power over your healthcare decisions in a medical power of attorney, you may wish to transfer this power to someone else. If your ex-spouse has power of attorney over your business or financial decisions, you may wish to transfer this power to someone else. If your current documents do not name a successor after your ex-spouse, no one will have authority to make these important decisions for you.

Life Insurance Policies and Retirement Accounts:
After a divorce you should consider changing the beneficiary for your life insurance policies and retirement accounts. In some cases, if you do not formally make these changes, your ex-spouse will receive these assets after your death,
Please call Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. so our qualified attorneys can help you understand the options for planning your estate before, during, and after divorce.

Disclaimer

 

Melissa G. Nolan

Melissa G. Nolan

St. Louis attorney Melissa Nolan's practice involves immigration law, as well as estate and tax planning. From helping individual immigrants to ensuring companies' I-9 forms are compliant through audits, Ms. Nolan is dedicated to making sure the laws are followed. Melissa’s estate and tax planning practice includes the preparation of estate planning documents such as wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and health care declarations.

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