Cupid shot you with the arrow that initiated the beginning of what could only result in blissful marriage. You then execute a will and trust to ensure that your loving spouse will receive all of your assets upon your death. Then Valentines day comes around. The flowers die, the chocolate melts, and next thing you know, you’re getting a divorce. What now? Pull the arrow out of your chest and revise your estate plan!
There are a variety of life events that can render your estate planning strategies ineffective, and divorce is one of them. This is why it is incredibly important to have your estate plan reviewed to ensure that it is still effective and true to your goals. In fact, if you experience any life event that affects your relationships or distributions, you will want to have your plan reviewed for alterations.
Consider the following:
- Trust – Does your trust document make a distribution to your ex-spouse? Is your ex-spouse the trustee over your assets? Do you want to put your home in a trust to avoid homestead, ensuring your ex-spouse does not have control over it in the event that it is passed to minor children?
- Last Will & Testament – are your children’s distributions going to be made outright? Are they minors? If so, your ex-spouse will likely be named guardian over the assets, to which he/she will effectively have control.
- Durable Power of Attorney – is your ex spouse designated to legally act on your behalf? Some power of attorney documents do not address whether the power terminates upon divorce.
- Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate – Do you want your ex-spouse making healthcare decisions for you?Your ex-spouse took half of your assets in the divorce settlement, and you thought that was bad! Don’t let cupid make you stupid – make sure you revise, revise, revise – protecting what is yours from what is no longer.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?