How Common Is It for Divorcing Couples to Forget to Address Their Estate Planning Documents That Were Put Together During the Life of Their Marriage?

Why is This a Huge Problem if You Fail to Address These Issues Post-Divorce?

Unfortunately, it is a very common problem that couples forget to update their estate planning documents after divorce. It is important to check these documents as part of the divorce agreement, if not very soon after. An ex-spouse could be left as the beneficiary of a will or an IRA. The worst that can arise is if the ex-spouse is named as the agent for healthcare and perhaps be living across the country.

If Divorce Is on the Horizon, Should You Make Changes to Estate Planning Documents Before a Divorce Is Final?

It is ideal to make changes to estate plans before the divorce is final. Often, after a divorce, the ex-spouses do not talk to each other, do not communicate, and often move to other areas of the country. It’s very difficult to make meaningful changes after the divorce.

If I Plan to Keep My Ex-Spouse as My Beneficiary or Designated Decision-Maker, Including Powers of Attorney, Do I Need to Do Anything Once We Divorce or Can I Just Keep the Documents in Place?

First, you should check with that ex-spouse and make sure that he or she is okay with remaining as your agent or your beneficiary. Other than that, you do not need to do anything. The documents will remain in force until they are changed by you.

What Are Some of the Complications That Can Arise in Probate When Someone Fails to Update Their Estate Planning Documents After Divorce?

The primary complication of forgetting to update estate plans after divorce would be if that person who is deceased remarried after his divorce. If that happens, the current widow and the ex-spouse can create problems fighting with each other over the estate, often running up a lot of expenses.

I’m Divorced. What Do I Need to Do for My Estate Planning Documents in South Carolina?

Well, you should review all of your documents; will, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, etc., immediately to see who you have named as your agent or beneficiary. Then take appropriate action to change those as necessary.

When It Comes to Planning for My Children, What Can I Do on My Own Once Divorced in South Carolina? What Matters Need to Be Discussed or Addressed With the Other Parent, if Any?

If you are divorced, you should review all your estate planning documents that you have made with your spouse concerning your children. These matters are generally handled in the domestic court by the family law judge when settling the divorce.

What About Property That Was Owned or Held Jointly During Our Marriage? What Happens In Probate if That Was Not Retitled or Other Issues Relating to the Property Were Not Addressed in the Estate Planning Documents?

During a divorce, any jointly held property is handled by the family law court and the family court judge. That property will be divided according to the family court rules so there should be no problem in probate. If there is, then the division will be according to the will or the intestate laws, and a portion of the property of the deceased will be passed as that deceased indicated in his will.

For more information on Divorce and Estate Planning Laws in South Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.

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