Divorce can be a tumultuous time, filled with emotional upheaval and significant life changes. One aspect that often gets overlooked in the chaos is estate planning. However, for those who have been divorced in Georgia, revisiting your estate plan is crucial to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This blog post aims to provide a quck guide on estate planning for individuals who have undergone a divorce in Georgia.
Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning
Estate planning is a proactive process that involves deciding how your assets will be distributed after your death. It’s not just for the wealthy; everyone has an estate, and everyone should have a plan. For those who have been divorced, it’s even more critical. Your previous estate plan likely included your former spouse, and without updating it, they may still be entitled to your assets.
Georgia Laws and Divorce
In Georgia, divorce automatically revokes any bequest to a former spouse in a will. However, this doesn’t apply to other estate planning documents like life insurance policies or retirement accounts. Therefore, it’s essential to review and update all your estate planning documents post-divorce.
Updating Your Will
Your will is a legal document that outlines how your property and assets should be distributed after your death. After a divorce, it’s crucial to update your will to reflect your new circumstances. You may want to change your beneficiaries, appoint a new executor, or make other modifications.
Revocable Living Trusts
A revocable living trust is another estate planning tool that allows you to manage your assets during your lifetime and distribute them after your death. If you had a trust with your former spouse, you would need to establish a new one.
Retirement Accounts and Life Insurance Policies
Retirement accounts and life insurance policies are not governed by your will or trust. Instead, they are distributed according to the designated beneficiaries. After a divorce, ensure you update these designations, or your ex-spouse could still be the beneficiary.
If you have minor children, your estate plan should include provisions for their guardianship. While the surviving parent typically assumes full custody, it’s important to consider scenarios where both parents are unavailable.
Estate planning after a divorce can be complex, but it’s an essential step in securing your future and protecting your loved ones. By understanding Georgia’s laws and working with an experienced estate planning attorney at Brian M Douglas & Associates, you can navigate this process with confidence and peace of mind.