Making an estate plan after divorce

When Texas couples decide to end their marriage, it can have a significant effect on their estate planning decisions. Many people across the country hurried to finalize their divorces in 2018, due to new tax law changes going into effect in 2019. Now that the marriage is over, however, there are a number of other procedures for people to look into to ensure that loose ends have been tied. When people marry, they often include their spouses as the primary beneficiary of wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. Divorce can inspire thorough changes in these documents, and the divorce decree can be a good place to start.

An estate planning attorney can refer back to the divorce agreement in order to look for ongoing obligations as well as agreements to make changes in the plan. Some of the most obvious changes may involve revising bequests in a will or trust and removing a former spouse as an executor. However, other documents are just as critical to update. Most people will want to remove their former spouse as a power of attorney or health care proxy in case they are incapacitated and name another trusted person instead.

Life insurance and other policies with a named beneficiary should also be examined closely. Many divorce agreements include provisions related to insurance, especially when alimony is in play. When they do not, however, people can move quickly to change the beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and investment funds as well as insurance policies.

Divorce can be a time of significant changes and a great deal of legal work. In order to make sure that people are able to fulfill their goals, it can be just as important to work with an estate planning attorney to develop key documents that reflect a person's new status and relationships.

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