Separating? Getting divorced? Review your estate plan!

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 by Hofheimer Family Law

Most people become extremely overwhelmed with all the details involving their divorce. What will the parenting schedule be? How much support will I receive? What will happen to the house?

One important area many people overlook is reviewing their estate plan. Review life insurance policies and other asset beneficiary designations (IRAs, 401ks). If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is a beneficiary, talk to your lawyer about making changes. While you may want to name your children as beneficiaries, be careful if your children are under 18. Leaving assets (life insurance, IRAs, 401ks) to minor children will require the court to name a conservator on their behalf. Talk to a lawyer about avoiding this problem.

Review your will. Most of the time, wills are written and executed, placed in a file cabinet or drawer and never thought about again. A good rule of thumb is to review your will every three years. If you are separating from your spouse or getting divorced, it’s critical to review your will immediately. Don’t make your children or extended family have to deal with estate planning documents that are outdated or leave your assets solely to your estranged spouse. It is much easier to take care of your estate planning today than it will be for your children or extended family after you pass if you don’t.