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Altering an estate plan to account for a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2018 | Divorce, Spousal Maintenance

After going through a significant life event, a Minnesota resident should review the details of their estate plan. A divorce qualifies as a significant life event, and there are many items that may need to be revised in its aftermath. For instance, an individual will want to change their power of attorney to ensure that a former spouse doesn’t have the ability to access key documents.

Individuals who are going through a divorce may also want to change their health care proxy. This prevents a former spouse from making health care decisions after a critical accident or other medical emergency. It is important to understand that beneficiary designations may be frozen as soon as a person files for divorce. This means that the soon-to-be ex could still be the beneficiary of a 401(k) or other asset if something were to happen during the divorce process.

If possible, try to make a new will. This can remove the spouse as executor of the estate and also provide the opportunity to name an alternate guardian for the children. In most cases, the former spouse will be named guardian of the children if they are fit to assume that role. Those who have a trust should amend it to ensure that money or assets left for a child are properly managed.

Anyone who is going through a divorce may want to assemble a team of lawyers, accountants and estate planning professionals. An attorney might be able to help a parent obtain custody of their children or secure a favorable child support order. Spousal support may also be part of a final divorce agreement.

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