There are numerous issues that often intersect with one another from a legal perspective. For example, a person whose Minnesota driver’s license is suspended for DUI may wind up having trouble meeting child support requirements because he or she does not have transportation to work. In this example, the criminal justice system and family court would intersect. Another pair of issues that often coincide involves divorce and estate planning.
Finalizing a divorce may prompt the need to update an estate plan. Things can get messy if an estate owner fails to do so before passing. It is possible that a person might die without having updated an estate plan following a divorce, in which case, the former spouse might be listed as a beneficiary to the estate, and a new spouse’s name might not even be included in the will. Minnesota law provides for automatic revocation of a spouse as a beneficiary in the event of a divorce, except as provided by the specific terms of the divorce decree.
Simple checklist that helps keep an estate plan updated following a divorce
If there is an existing estate plan at the time a divorce becomes finalized, it is helpful to run through this checklist:
- Are any changes necessary in the last will and testament, such as removing a name or adding a new one?
- Was power of attorney granted to the former spouse?
- During marriage, was a spouse listed as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or retirement account?
These are just a few of numerous issues that may be relevant when updating an estate plan following a divorce.
Reach out for additional support as needed
The sooner an update takes place, the better protected a person’s assets are, especially because life expectancy can never be predicted with 100% certainty. When a Minnesota divorce has an impact on an estate plan, it is helpful to seek guidance and support from an attorney who is well-versed in these areas of law.