Monday, June 30, 2008

Divorce and the Estate Plan

Yahoo Finance featured a story today about the importance of reviewing and updating your beneficiary forms following a divorce – you would not want to unintentionally leave an ex-spouse, or ex-partner, named as a beneficiary! Regardless of what your will says the beneficiary form controls property held in retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

Upon divorce, one would hope that the attorney handling the case would either work with you to update your will or refer you to an attorney who specializes in estate planning. Competent attorneys should alert the client about the need to review and update beneficiary forms at the same time a will is created or updated.

And remember, not just your divorce could impact your estate plan. Have the people you named as guardian for your minor children gone through a divorce or is the marriage experiencing stress, creating a less than ideal home for your child to move to if needed? If so, then amending your will to select another person or family would be a good idea.

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