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The Impact of Divorce on Your Estate Plan: What You Need to Know

Divorce is a challenging and emotional process that can have significant implications for your estate plan. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the crucial aspects you need to address to ensure your assets and loved ones are protected. If you need assistance navigating the complexities of your estate plan during a divorce, Heritage Law Office can help. Our experienced attorneys can provide guidance tailored to your unique situation. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.

How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plan

Divorce can have a significant impact on various aspects of your estate plan, from beneficiaries to power of attorney designations. It's essential to review and update your plan to ensure it still aligns with your wishes.

Beneficiary Designations

Many financial accounts and insurance policies require you to name a beneficiary who will receive the assets upon your death. In most cases, spouses are named as primary beneficiaries. After a divorce, you may want to update these designations to prevent unintended consequences.

Wills and Trusts

Wills and trusts often include provisions for a spouse, both as a beneficiary and in decision-making roles. After a divorce, it's crucial to review and update your will and any trusts to ensure they reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives

A power of attorney document and health care directive often designate a spouse as the decision-maker for financial and medical matters if you become incapacitated. After a divorce, you may want to appoint a different individual to fill these roles.

Steps to Update Your Estate Plan After Divorce

To safeguard your estate plan after a divorce, follow these essential steps:

  1. Review your estate planning documents: Identify any provisions that reference your former spouse and consider how they should be updated.
  2. Consult with an experienced attorney: An attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of updating your estate plan and ensure that all necessary changes are made.
  3. Update beneficiary designations: Update the beneficiary designations on your financial accounts, retirement plans, and insurance policies.
  4. Revise your will and trusts: Amend your will and any trusts to remove your former spouse and reallocate assets as appropriate.
  5. Choose new decision-makers: Select new individuals to serve as power of attorney and health care proxy, and update the relevant documents.

The Role of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can play a significant role in determining how assets are distributed during a divorce. These agreements may also address estate planning matters, such as beneficiary designations and the establishment of trusts. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, consult with an attorney to determine how it affects your estate plan and any necessary updates.

Considerations for Blended Families

Divorce and remarriage can create blended families, which bring unique estate planning challenges. Balancing the needs and interests of your current spouse, children from a previous marriage, and any new children is essential. An experienced attorney can help you create an estate plan that addresses the unique dynamics of your blended family.

Contact an Experienced Divorce and Estate Planning Attorney

If you're going through a divorce or have recently finalized one, it's essential to review and update your estate plan. At Heritage Law Office, our knowledgeable attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning during this difficult time. To learn more about our services, contact us by using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.

Remember, Heritage Law Office can accommodate remote, phone, and online appointments, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need, wherever you are.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we proudly provide legal advice to those in Milwaukee County and surrounding communities.

Milwaukee Office
757 N. Broadway, Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53202
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Minneapolis, MN 55104
414-676-2787 (fax)
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