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Estate Planning After Divorce

People who have just divorced or are contemplating divorce, need to think about revising their estate planning. Many people forget this important step in pre-divorce planning and post-divorce activities. This is particularly important when people face the following:

  • They have children;
  • They have been ordered to pay alimony, child support or both, and are required to purchase life insurance to ensure the continuation of one, the other, or both;
  • They had completed their estate planning while married and had named their spouse (at-that-time) as their attorney-in-fact (durable power of attorney); their health-care surrogate;
  • The person making the decision on their living will;
  • The person who is named as their “pre-need guardian’ (in Florida a person may name in a document filed with the clerk of courts who they wish the court to appoint if they are found to be incompetent;
  • Their former spouse is named as the trustee or successor-trustee of a trust set-up during the marriage.

Young or old, married or single, wealthy or middle-class, with or without children, everyone who has gone through a divorce needs to formalize his or her final wishes in some type of estate plan, that recognizes they are now divorced from their former spouse.

Some states, or some judges, place in the divorce judgment, that each of the parties can no longer be an heir through a will that was operative during the marriage. However, this says nothing about the ancillary testamentary documents which most estate planning attorneys recommend people have in today’s complex society.

The best way to assure that your family and your finances are properly taken care of when you are gone, and you have been divorced, is to see an estate planning attorney.


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