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How to adjust your estate plan after a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2021 | Wills |

It’s important to promptly update your estate plan after your divorce in Maryland. You don’t want to procrastinate on this because if you were to die, your ex-spouse would likely receive everything you had intended to leave them.

Start over

You may find it cumbersome to go through your existing estate plan and attempt to revise every instance in which you mentioned your ex-spouse. Your circumstances are different now, perhaps more different than you initially realized. There is no longer a shared property to take into consideration. You might have to pay alimony or child support, which also changes your financial situation. Toss out the old estate plan and start fresh. You will feel better starting over.

Appoint an executor

One of the major changes you’ll probably make in your new estate plan is who your executor is. You will most likely not want your executor to be your former spouse.

Appoint a guardian for your children

If your ex-spouse is an unfit parent, you need to appoint a guardian to take care of your children after you die. Even if you have sole custody of your children because the other parent is unfit, you should still explain this in your estate plan. In situations where your ex-spouse wasn’t formally deemed unfit, you can still discuss this reason in your will. Gather any evidence you can that supports your claims as well.

Whether or not your ex-spouse is an unfit parent, it’s a good idea to appoint a guardian in your will. You wouldn’t want both of you to die before the kids are 18 and not have a guardian to take care of them. Discuss the topic with them to come to an agreement on who the guardian will be.

Change the beneficiary on other documents

It’s not just your will that needs updating. You need to remove your ex-spouse as the beneficiary from your life insurance, retirement accounts, and trusts as well.

Updating your estate plan is a topic that isn’t often discussed when contemplating a divorce. Yet, it’s just as critical as dividing your property in a fairway.