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Divorce affects estate planning

When Charleroi, Pennsylvania, residents write their will and detail how they want their estate handled, they may well be eager to include their dearly beloved husband or wife as a beneficiary or even as an executor. However, if the marriage ends, with antipathy superseding the previous state of marital bliss, having an ex-husband or an ex-wife as a beneficiary or executor of the estate is a profoundly unattractive state of affairs. For that reason, when reviewing estate administration and probate issues, it is important to decide how things should change after a divorce.

Failing to do so can result in the person you like least in the world, the one who is divorcing you or getting divorced by you, getting most of your stuff. After all, the law considers you and your partner to be married, with all corresponding rights and obligations, until the divorce decree is final. You will want to carefully review every reference to your partner in your will and meticulously excise him or her from it in every respect, unless for some reason you actually want him or her to get something in addition to what he or she will be taking from you in the divorce. Additionally, you should get a comprehensive legal review of any trusts that you already have established, including irrevocable life insurance trusts, since those are handled differently than the rest of the estate is.

If you have another future marital partner on the horizon, you may also want to figure out how to include him or her in your will. After all, your money and property is better left to the person you care about going forward, instead of to the person you used to care about. If you have children, you will want to make sure that their interests are protected as well, and to make provisions about who will administer their share of your estate on their behalf.

Source: The Balance, "5 Estate Planning Documents to Update When Getting a Divorce," Patti Spencer, accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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