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Why is it important to update your estate plan after marriage or divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Divorce

Life is a series of changes, and how we manage these changes can significantly impact our futures and those of our loved ones. One critical aspect you may overlook during major life transitions like marriage, remarriage or divorce is the importance of updating your estate plan.

Updating your plan is not just a bureaucratic necessity. It is a vital step to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your current wishes and that your estate is handled smoothly for your loved ones. Why should you update your estate plan?

An updated plan will reflect your current relationships.

Life events like divorce and remarriage can dramatically alter your personal relationships. Perhaps you have remarried and gained a stepfamily. It is essential that your estate plan reflects these changes.

You may have divorced, and your former spouse and their family are no longer a part of your life. Removing beneficiaries from your will, life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other financial instruments ensures that these assets do not unintentionally go to them.

An updated plan will protect your loved ones.

In the joy of adding new members to your family through remarriage, it is important to consider their future security. Including your new spouse in your estate plan not only shows your commitment but also protects their future financial security.

This is especially important if you want to provide for your stepchildren. Oklahoma law does not automatically pass your assets on to your stepchildren. Including them in your estate plan is an essential way to ensure that they receive support from your estate.

An updated plan can help you avoid legal challenges.

An outdated estate plan can become a source of contention among family members and can lead to legal challenges. These disputes are not just emotionally draining but can also be expensive and time-consuming to resolve. By keeping your estate plan updated, you significantly reduce the risk of disputes related to misunderstandings, misinterpretations and outdated plans.

Life changes, and your estate plan should reflect these changes to safeguard your legacy and the financial security of your loved ones. Do not wait for the perfect moment. The right time to update your estate plan is as soon as your life circumstances change.