Tips for Estate Planning After Divorce

Estate planning after divorce may not seem a priority. Your life can be chaos. Your finances can be a mess, you might have just moved, and you’re trying to build a new personal life.

Added to this list is updating your estate plan. While updating your will and beneficiaries might not be at the top of your to-do list after a divorce, they are essential tasks. Failure to do this can result in your ex-spouse inheriting your retirement account or even your house.

To avoid this, use these tips to update your estate planning after divorce.

Why You Need To Update Your Estate Plan

It’s a great practice to update your estate plan every time you have a life event, like a new marriage, or even the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one. These can impact your will and it’s essential to legally update.

Divorce is especially important, as it can give your ex-spouse more control over your estate than you might intend. While divorce can prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting your estate, per Alabama law, he or she can have access to your children’s inheritance if they are minors. While you might be OK with this, if you are not, then you need to update your estate plan or create a living trust to name a trustee who could manage your assets until your children are adults. This is a way to remove your ex-spouse from the equation.

It’s also essential to be proactive after filing for divorce and before it is finalized. During the divorce proceedings, your soon-to-be ex-spouse can be your beneficiary.

Estate Planning Steps To Take After Divorce

After a divorce, there are a lot of steps you must take to protect your estate. These can include:

· Update your will, trust, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney.

· Update your beneficiaries in your retirement plan, investments, and life insurance policies. These can be automatically updated after divorce, but it’s important to go in and name a new beneficiary.

· Appoint a guardian for your children, in the event you and your ex-spouse both die.

· Name a trustee to manage your minor children’s money and assets if you pass away.

· Determine who should make your medical decisions if you are incapacitated.

· Name a person who should make your financial decisions if you are unable to do so.

Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

It’s essential to hire an estate planning attorney to help you sort through the ins and outs of your estate planning after divorce. You need to hire an experienced attorney to ensure you take all of the needed steps. It’s easy to overlook a step and forget to make an essential update on your will, living trust, or your directives. To remove the risk of having your ex-spouse get more access to your estate than you intend, you need to take the right steps.

It’s also important to work with an attorney as soon as you start the divorce process to ensure you are proactive in removing your ex-spouse as power of attorney or your beneficiary.

Why Hire Us for Estate Planning After Divorce

When you get divorced, hire an estate planning attorney to update your beneficiaries and estate plan. Hire our attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC to help you.

Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.

To get started, contact us at 251-319-4659 or

Font Resize