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Importance of updating estate plan after a divorce

There are many changes that people in Missouri need to work through after a divorce. Separating one shared life into two separate lives is not always an easy task. Homes are separated; time with children is separated; bank, retirement and investment accounts need to be separated and other aspects of their lives need to be separated as well. This is certainly not an easy task and can be very time consuming. However, people should also make another change that is not usually directly discussed during the divorce process and that is their estate plan.

Their estate plan can include different documents and in many situations most of them will need to changed. People may have a healthcare directive naming their spouse as the person who will make medical decisions. Often times they may name their spouse as their power of attorney. Also, usually in a will or trust, a spouse is named as the primary beneficiary and as the trustee. In addition to this most of the time a spouse is named as beneficiary for retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

So, unless the person wants their ex-spouse to receive their assets or make medical decisions for them after the divorce, they will need to change all of these documents. In some situations the person may need to execute a completely new will or trust, but in many situations the person can simply modify just the clauses naming the beneficiaries to remove their ex-spouse and name children or other friends or family in their place. As life is completely unpredictable, this should be done soon after a divorce.

There are many changes that people experience throughout their lives in Missouri. One of these changes is a divorce. People need to separate their lives and that is not always an easy task. One of the parts of their lives that needs to be separated along with what is directly separated during the divorce process is their estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, healthcare directives, power of attorney and other documents naming a spouse as beneficiary. Experienced attorneys understand how to best do this and may be a useful resource.

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