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After a divorce, estate planning is important

Although many Kent residents don't anticipate that a divorce will happen to them, many marriages do end in divorce. Soon after a divorce is finalized, meeting with an estate attorney is important as many documents may need to be updated, including wills and trusts.

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, estate planning is for everyone. Not everyone needs complicated wills and trusts, but a simple will, power of attorney and health care directive should be part of everyone's estate plan. A divorce can take a big emotional toll on a person, but once the divorce is finalized, existing estate plans need to be changed and new estate plans should be created.

Estate planning documents that should be created or revised following a divorce include trusts, powers of attorney, life insurance policies, retirement accounts and wills. The beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts will need to be updated. If they're not, the proceeds would go to the ex-spouse. Also, an ex-spouse may be listed as a power of attorney for healthcare and financial decisions. A new person may want to be chosen after a divorce is finalized. In addition, it is important to make sure estate planning documents are in line with the divorce settlement. For example, if the divorce settlement lists an ex-spouse as a beneficiary then the ex-spouse needs to remain a beneficiary.

A divorce is a major life event. When the divorce is finalized, it is important to make sure that important documents are updated and created in case of death. This can make sure a person's interests are protected and that all estate planning documents remain valid.

Source: Forbes, "The first thing you must do when your divorce is final," Mark Eghrari, Aug. 14, 2016

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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