Estate planning can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, but it’s necessary. If you’ve already planned your estate, it’s important to keep up with it.
A common life event that might require you to update your estate plans is divorce. Depending on how amicable the divorce was, you might want to remove your former spouse completely or just minimize how many assets they’re getting.
How do I update my estate plan?
If there’s already an estate plan in place, updating it is much easier than setting it up. The difficulty depends on how much has changed since you last updated it.
If the divorce is the only thing that changed, then you simply review any parts of your will or estate plans that mentioned your spouse. If it’s been a few years, your estate plan should be reviewed thoroughly to address anything else that’s changed since it was created. This can be things like:
- New children or grandchildren
- Dramatic change to assets or financials
- Change in relationship to people
- Change in investments
Why is it so important to update an estate plan?
An outdated estate plan can make living relative’s lives a nightmare, to say the least. If you don’t update your estate plan after a divorce, your spouse might have claim to belongings you never intended them to.
One of the ways that unmarried partners make sure their partner is taken care of after their death is by including them directly in the will. If your former spouse is addressed formally in the will, they will still be entitled to that inheritance – potentially causing your relatives grief and financial hardship down the road.
Normally, your lawyer will suggest updating your estate plan every three to five years. Work with an estate planning lawyer today.