Individuals usually want to provide for their spouses no matter what happens in their lives, which means that they generally include them as one of the primary beneficiaries in their estate plans. People also usually trust their spouses, which often means that they may play an important role or roles elsewhere in the estate planning paperwork that people create while they are married.
Someone who has recently divorced usually needs to make some major adjustments to their existing estate plan, as a result of these realities. People usually remember to review their wills and update their powers of attorney. However, there is one oversight many people make during that update process that could end up undermining their intentions and possibly benefiting their former spouse.
Life insurance requires its own paperwork
Life insurance might be an important part of someone’s overall estate plan. The proceeds from their policy might be how they intend to provide for their children or pay off the mortgage on their home if they die unexpectedly. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that people ensure the right party receives their life insurance proceeds.
Simply discussing an insurance policy in one’s will or trust documents won’t be enough to change how the company handles the policies after someone’s passing. People have to file new beneficiary designation paperwork directly with each insurance provider to change who will receive the funds from the policy.
If someone were to only mention their changed beneficiary wishes in their will, the old designation filed with their insurance provider might lead to their former spouse receiving the insurance payout even years after divorce. Learning from the mistakes that other people make can potentially benefit those worried about their estate planning needs after a recent divorce.