The entire process of a divorce is typically taxing, and the stress will likely continue to escalate for a while after it is finalized. At the start of a newly single Florida resident’s future, there may be debts, decrees and deeds to implement, retitle and reorganize as one’s post-divorce life is established. In some cases, these tasks are so overwhelming that updating estate plans are left unaddressed.
Failure to attend to this important aspect can have detrimental consequences. If the person should die, his or her ex could receive the estate rather than the children or other intended heirs. With the old will torn up and a new one drafted, it can include codicils and amendments to record new instructions related to guardianship of kids — secondary and primary — if a custodial parent should die. Although this may be specified in the divorce decree, the will can make the custodial parent’s wishes prevail.
After overhauling the will, it might be a good idea to update all beneficiaries on bank accounts, life insurance, brokerage accounts, annuities and more. These are all independent of a will, and changes must be done in writing with written confirmation obtained. Durable powers of attorney — both financial and medical — may need modifications. Trusts could be considered to protect assets and to keep funds safe and secure for children or charities.
Florida couples often share financial advisors and estate planning attorneys. After a divorce, it may be a better idea to establish a business relationship with an experienced estate planning attorney and his or her resources, such as financial and tax advisors. Such professionals can make sure nothing is left unattended and provide sound advice and guidance throughout.
Source: New York Post, “How to shield your money from your ex in 3 simple steps“, Melissa Montgomery-Fitzsimmons, Accessed on March 31, 2017