Estate planning can be more involved than many people realize. Some steps could be exclusive to those who experience significant life changes. For example, someone filing for divorce in Florida must also consider estate plan revisions. Once divorce proceedings conclude, it could become necessary to review documents and accounts to make necessary adjustments.
Divorce and estate plan changes
A last will and testament is one of the most common documents in an estate plan. After a divorce, the testator may change the will to remove an ex-spouse previously listed as a beneficiary. Such steps may precede adding a new spouse or someone else as a beneficiary. In some instances, the ex-spouse might appear as the executor, which may not be appropriate anymore.
Transfer on death accounts (TODs) allow assets to move to a beneficiary outside of probate. Changing a designation that lists an ex-spouse might be necessary.
Life insurance policies could become forgotten documents in estate planning when the policyholder purchased them years earlier. However, unless the policyholder changes the beneficiaries, they remain in place. Revising policies to remove an ex-spouse is another action some may take.
Further documents to review
Other estate planning documents may require revisions after a divorce. Not everyone relies on a last will and testament and might prefer an irrevocable trust. Trusts could become subject to changes and revisions when the marriage ends.
A power of attorney form grants an agent significant authority related to the grantor’s finances. An ex-spouse might not be someone given such authority, but the authority could remain in place unless the grantor revokes it.
A healthcare proxy might name an ex-spouse as the decision-maker in emergencies. Again, that would be a document the grantor could change.
An ex-spouse may appear in numerous estate-related documents. Revising them may be necessary.