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How can divorce affect your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2022 | Divorce |

Divorce brings significant changes to every aspect of your life. Most divorcing spouses understandably fixate on finding solutions to child custody disputes and fairly sharing marital assets and future income. One area often overlooked is how ending a marriage impacts an estate plan.

Nevada law revokes estate planning designations and bequests involving a former spouse once a divorce is finalized. The state adopted these laws to ensure that assets do not go to unintended parties when a person dies. However, reviewing your estate plan as soon as possible is advisable.

Important revisions to consider

An experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney understands the comprehensive impact of dissolving a marriage. Their advice may include urging you to seek guidance from an estate planning attorney to  update or redraft a will or trust. Here are three important considerations before the divorce is final:

  • Update power of attorney and health care proxy: If your spouse holds either of these roles, you’ll likely want to select new representatives. If you keep your ex-spouse in one or both capacities, you’ll still need to revise the documents once the divorce is final.
  • Update beneficiaries: Many assets transfer outside a will after death, including insurance policies, 401(k)s and other accounts. These designations are not automatically revoked due to a divorce. You’ll need to change them unless you want your spouse to remain a beneficiary.
  • Review prenups or postnups: If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, make sure your plan is consistent with your divorce terms.

You’ll also need to update your will if you want to keep your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. But, making any changes to an estate plan, as well as the timing, can be complicated during a divorce. Since some of these assets are considered community property, it’s vital to consult an attorney before making any revisions. Having a plan is crucial for drafting a valid will that protects you and your loved ones for years to come.


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