Divorce is Also a Time to Schedule a Visit With NC Planning

Many individuals going through a divorce get so caught up in meetings with their family law attorney that they forget to touch base with their estate planning attorney. Should you or one of your beneficiaries divorce, you may want to revise your estate plan. We understand this is a very difficult time for folks but it is extremely important to review your documents promptly.

For example, if your will leaves your son and his wife joint ownership of your assets, imagine the problems that could arise if they divorce. Would you still want your now ex-daughter in law to receive half your assets? Maybe. Or maybe you want to reconsider how your assets will be distributed.

Fortunately, there are some protections at law if you are the one filing for divorce. In North Carolina, gifts to spouses under one’s Last Will and Testament or Trust are null and void upon the entering of a decree of absolute divorce. Designations of a spouse as an executor, trustee or power of attorney are also revoked by the entering of an absolute divorce decree.

A divorce does not, however, revoke a beneficiary designation. If we are aware that a client has recently been divorced, we will proactively schedule a meeting with them to review their documents and entire estate plan to ensure that their true wishes and desires are still effectuated upon our their passing.