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Estate planning is important after a divorce

When Kent-area residents go through a divorce, it can be an emotionally trying time. There are so many things that need to be figured out and many are complicated. Although most people don't want to add anything to a divorce process, it is important to keep in mind estate planning matters.

Meeting with an estate planning attorney during a divorce process can be important. After a divorce a person's life completely changes. An estate planning attorney can help guide a person towards what makes sense in a divorce settlement in terms of an estate plan. An estate plan will most likely need to be updated with new beneficiaries. A health care proxy that lists a former spouse will need to be updated as well. When a former spouse is listed on a health care proxy it is revocable at the time of divorce but can be updated before the divorce is final. It is also important to update who can view a person's health care information.

A will and trust will most likely need updating as well. The former spouse will need to be removed as executor and as a person who manages any money left to the children after death. A divorce settlement may include the need to establish a trust for the children. This will need to be shared with the estate planning attorney. Beneficiaries on all documents should be updated. These include life insurance, retirement plans and any document which lists the former spouse.

Although a divorce is a mess of complicated issues and emotional turmoil, it is important for people to keep in mind all of the important matters. An estate planning attorney can help make sure a person has the right documents, updated information and that a person's wishes will be honored.

Source:, "Planning matters: Estate planning and divorce," Leanna Hamill, Nov. 6, 2015

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