How divorce can impact an estate plan

Getting divorced in Florida could make it necessary to make changes to an estate plan. Generally speaking, a divorced individual will want to make sure that his or her former spouse is no longer his or her health care proxy. The same is true as it relates to a financial power of attorney. Instead, a friend, family member or trusted professional should have these roles going forward.

If a former spouse is a trustee or executor of an estate, that should be changed as soon as possible. Otherwise, that person could have control over where assets go or could even receive assets when former spouse dies. Typically, a child will be raised by a former spouse in the event that a divorced parent passes on. However, this may not be true if that other parent is unfit to do so for any reason.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to create a document stating who should be the minor child's guardian if a parent dies. Individuals could be required under the terms of a divorce decree to purchase and maintain a life insurance policy with a former spouse as the beneficiary. To better understand what obligations a person has after a divorce, it may be a good idea to consult with an estate planning professional.

Creating and altering an estate plan may make it easier to provide wealth protection for grantors and beneficiaries alike. An estate plan will ideally be reviewed after a major life event such as a divorce. An attorney may be able to assist during the estate plan review. If changes need to be made, legal counsel may be to ensure that they are done correctly. This may minimize the chances of a legal challenge in the future.

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Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A.
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Jacksonville, FL 32210

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