Why estate planning is so important after divorce or remarriage

A Michigan estate plan is not something you prepare once and then put away. Divorce and remarriage, in particular, are events that should prompt you to make some changes. The team at Bingham Legal Group PC understands how these factors may affect your loved ones if you die before changing your will, and we often advise clients on the best way to address their unique family structure in their estate plans.

According to the Michigan Bar Journal, the state has default rules that apply when you do not have an estate plan. These do not distribute your assets equally between your spouse and your children, so it is crucial that you spell out your wishes in a written will, or a large portion of the assets that you intended for your descendants to have could go to your new spouse.

If you and your first spouse prepared an estate plan, you need to go through the documents and ensure that he or she is no longer listed as a beneficiary on life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets. Many people name their spouses as administrators of their estate plan or as the ones who will make financial and health care decisions in case of incapacitation. Unless you want your ex-spouse deciding these things, you should make sure to choose a new person for these roles.

You should address the specific needs of any of your children under the age of 18 or with a disability. Naming a guardian, setting up a trust and choosing a trustee may ensure that they receive the same level of care that you would provide. For more information about end-of-life decisions, please visit our webpage.