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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Going through a divorce can be stressful, and many people in this situation may not consider how divorce affects their estate plan. However, if your marriage is being dissolved, it is important that you do not wait to update your estate planning documents for a couple of reasons:

If you wait to revise your estate planning documents and something were to happen to you resulting in your death or incapacitation, your ex-spouse might still be named in your documents which could result in unintended consequences, such as having minor children inherit property or not having someone named who can serve as your agent under a Power of Attorney.

While many spousal rights terminate automatically upon a dissolution of marriage being finalized, you should still revise your Last Will and Testament, any Trust Agreements, and other estate planning documents to exclude your former spouse. Other steps that may need to be taken include:

  • Revoking Powers of Attorney or Healthcare Powers of Attorney naming your spouse as your agent.

  • Revising beneficiary designations to retirement plans, life insurance policies, etc.

  • Revising pay on death (POD) and/or transfer on death (TOD) designations.

  • Amending your estate planning documents to create trusts for minor children or educational trusts to provide for the children without your ex-spouse’s involvement, if something were to happen to you.

When major life changes occur, call Schmidt, Kirby & Sullivan, P.C. (417-882-2828) for an appointment with one of our attorneys to review your estate plan and recommend the necessary revisions.

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