The start of a new marriage is rarely the time for a young couple to take stock in their future and plan for the time when they have both passed away. Though estate planning is something that all men and women should do, it is often put off until couples share children or hold significant assets and desire to have their wishes for the distribution of their wealth honored in the event of their deaths. California residents should note, though, that the ends of marriages are also important times to revisit their estate plans to ensure that they are accurate and up to date.
This is because many estate plans will revolve around the joint decisions that husbands and wives make together. They may each include provisions in their wills that mirror who they wish to take care of their kids if they both pass on, but after a divorce their plans for the guardianship of their kids may change. Similarly, individuals often name their spouses as beneficiaries in their estate plans, but after divorce it is unlikely that exes would want each other to be the primary recipients of each other’s end of life wealth.
After a divorce a person may need to evaluate their estate plan to remove or add assets that have changed hands as a result of the parties’ property settlement plans. An inaccurate estate plan is one that may be subject to scrutiny in probate and open to challenges by individuals who may benefit from it.
It is always a good idea to review one’s will and other estate planning devices to ensure that they are accurate and current. However, the changes that a divorce imposes on a person’s life necessitate the timely review of the testamentary documents and plans for the distribution of their end of life wealth.