5 Reasons to Change your Estate Plan after Divorce

Significant life changes often require changes to Estate Plan documents. After a divorce, you will likely need to make changes to your Estate Plan. Here are 5 key reasons.

  1. Eliminate Provisions for Your Former Spouse. You will likely want to eliminate provisions in your Estate Plan documents for your former spouse. Massachusetts law provides that a divorce revokes dispositions in a Will or Revocable Trust to a former spouse as well as beneficiary designations of life insurance policies and retirement accounts to a former spouse. Nonetheless, with those provisions revoked, your Estate Plan documents may not work as intended and most likely will need an update.

  2. Satisfy Obligations in Your Divorce Agreement. You may have obligations to your former spouse and/or children in your divorce settlement agreement that need to be integrated with your Estate Plan. For instance, many divorcing individuals agree to maintain life insurance policies for the benefit of a former spouse and/or children. You may need the proceeds of those policies paid to a Trust for their benefit.

  3. Change Fiduciaries. You may wish to change the people you’ve named as fiduciaries in your Estate Plan documents, such as a Personal Representative in a Will or a Trustee in a Trust. If you’ve named a friend or family member of your former spouse in a fiduciary role, you may now wish to name someone else.

  4. Plan for Different Assets. You may have more, less, or different assets as a result of a divorce such that you need to make changes to your Estate Plan documents.

  5. Change Provisions for Children. Depending upon the circumstances of your divorce, you may have changed your mind about how best to provide for your adult or minor children after your death.