Dealing with a divorce is never an easy process. This life event is a lot to handle, and at Gentreo we understand that it can be an emotionally difficult time for you and your loved ones. Between legal discussions, family complications, and adjusting your life to the new changes, it can be easy to forget about your estate plan and the changes that should be made. If your former spouse was designated in any way in your own estate plan, it is important that the necessary changes are made to protect yourself for the future.
If you previously included your ex in your estate planning documents and don’t update them after your divorce, your wishes could be in jeopardy if something were to happen to you later. If your former spouse were designated as an executor of your Will or had legal authority if you were incapacitated, such as a Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy, you may not receive the care and consideration for your wishes that you need if something happens to you. Similarly, if you pass away and your former spouse was a beneficiary of your estate, they could receive assets which you would not have wanted them to receive, assets that could have gone towards a more preferred beneficiary. For example, according to the 2018 US Census, 67.1% of people going through a divorce are homeowners. Your home is an expensive asset that you would want to ensure was given to the proper beneficiary after you pass. However, if your Will was not updated after you were divorced and your ex spouse was named as co-owner, there is little that could be done to keep them from getting the house.
We know that protecting yourself and your loved ones is a priority, which is why keeping your estate plan updated is incredibly important. According to a 2016 survey conducted by USLegalWills.com, 8.6% of Americans have a Will that isn’t up-to-date. Combined with the 63% who have no Will at all, over 70% of Americans do not have a Will ready and available.
We cannot predict the future, but we can plan for it, and taking the steps needed to update your estate plan plays an important role in ensuring your family and future are protected. Through Gentreo, these steps are made easy and affordable so that you can spend less time worrying about the future and more time focusing on the present.