After a divorce, many Nevada residents focus on starting a new life and recovering from the emotional and financial turmoil that often accompanies the proceedings. Estate planning may be the last thing on their minds. However, it is essential that an estate plan either be created or revised as soon as possible after a divorce is finalized.
Married Nevada couples who have estate plans often name each other as the primary beneficiary in wills and trusts and as the agent in powers of attorney. During the marriage, this arrangement works well for both parties. However, this will need to be changed once the divorce is final, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
It is vital that beneficiary designations are also changed on accounts that pass by operation of law, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies, along with any other accounts that have the former spouse listed as a beneficiary. Regardless of what an individual’s will or trust says, it is the beneficiary designation that governs who will receive the proceeds of these types of accounts. If an ex-spouse is not removed as the primary or secondary beneficiary of a particular account, he or she may receive any funds in the account upon death.
In addition, a newly divorced parent may want to ensure that their children will be provided for in the event of his or her death. Estate planning is not a one-time event. As the circumstances in people’s lives change, an estate plan will need to change with them in order to make sure that the plan still reflects an individual’s wishes.
Source: marshfield.wickedlocal.com, “PLANNING MATTERS: Estate planning and divorce“, Leanna Hamill, Nov. 6, 2015