In the midst of a divorce, the last thing a Gulfport resident might think about is updating her estate plan. There are, it might seem, more immediate concerns like figuring out how to divide property or how to co-parent the children successfully.
However, forgetting to handle one’s estate plan after a divorce can create some significant legal and even financial issues.
In fact, until recently, it was quite possible that if a person forgot to remove a former spouse from his will or trust, the former spouse would stand to inherit.
Now, under Mississippi law, a person would have to specifically state that he wishes his former spouse to inherit. Otherwise, the former spouse will take nothing from the estate. The possibility of a former spouse benefiting from a mistake has been diminished.
Nevertheless, it is still a good idea after a divorce to update all estate planning documents, including beneficiary designations on documents like life insurance policies and retirement plans.
The financial fallout from a divorce may require updated estate planning
Mississippi residents should also be aware that a divorce is inevitably going to cost them some property. Like most other states, Mississippi will divide the property in a fair and equitable manner.
This is not a set in stone rule by any means, but, practically speaking, many couples should expect to give up about half of their net worth to their former spouses.
Losing this property may mean that a person should revise her estate plan. Most obviously, if a person’s will or trust mentions a particular piece of property that went to her former spouse, that should be updated.
Moreover, an overall review of a person’s financial and legal situation after divorce may be in order just to make sure his estate plan is still meeting his needs.