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Why divorce is a good time to update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Divorce is a significant life event that can bring about a myriad of changes. One overlooked aspect is the need to update your estate plan.

For example, while the emotional and financial aspects of divorce take center stage, it is important to recognize that your existing estate plan may no longer align with your wishes and circumstances.


One of the primary components of any estate plan is specifying beneficiaries for your assets. Spouses typically designate each other as beneficiaries. However, divorce alters the dynamics of this relationship, and failing to update your estate plan could result in unintended consequences. Review and revise beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets to ensure they align with your post-divorce wishes.

Guardianship considerations

About 19.3% of the population of Florida is younger than 18 years. For couples with minor children or adult children with special needs, divorce prompts a reevaluation of guardianship arrangements. Your existing estate plan may name your ex-spouse as the guardian of your children in the event of your demise. Updating your estate plan allows you to nominate a new guardian who reflects your current parenting arrangements and provides a stable and supportive environment for your children.

Asset distribution and trusts

Divorce often involves the division of marital assets, and your estate plan needs to reflect these changes accurately. This may involve updating or creating trusts to manage and distribute assets according to your new circumstances. Trusts can protect the inheritance of your children and ensure asset distribution in line with your wishes.

Powers of attorney and health care directives

During a divorce, the individuals you may have appointed to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf might change. Updating powers of attorney and health care directives ensures that the right people are in place to act on your behalf in case of incapacity.

Taking the time to address these matters can provide peace of mind and ensure that your estate plan remains a reliable and effective tool for the future.