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Important changes to an estate plan after a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2023 | Estate Planning

When a marriage is over, it can impact multiple areas of a person’s life. If you are facing this process, you know that the implications could impact everything from where you live to how often you see your children. This is particularly true if you are older and nearing retirement age. A gray divorce, which is a divorce between two people who are age 50 and older, can result in serious financial repercussions. It should also lead to changes in your estate plan. 

A divorce later in life can affect your plans for retirement, as well as your long-term legal and financial goals. It is critical that you update your estate plan after a divorce as this can help you protect your interests and plans for the future. This effort also allows you to shield the interests of your Pennsylvania loved ones in the event of your death, ensuring that your assets end up with the appropriate beneficiaries. 

Steps to bring your plans up-to-date 

The rate of divorce with older adults is increasing. While this may be surprising, it is now more common to seek happiness later in life thanks to changing stigma on divorce, longer lifespans and other factors. Gray divorce can have a significant impact on finances as you are closer to retirement age or have accumulated decades of shared savings with the other spouse. In addition to the decisions you will have to make during your divorce, you will also benefit from taking the following steps to bring your estate plan up-to-date: 

  • Update any documents that list your former spouse, or his or her heirs and beneficiaries, as the beneficiary of any part of your estate. 
  • Remove your former spouse as a financial or medical power of attorney, replacing him or her with a trusted individual. 
  • Update all transfer-on-death accounts, such as life insurance accounts, bank accounts, retirement accounts and more. 

If you do not have an existing estate plan, a divorce is a practical reason to create one. You have the right to have the final say over what happens to your personal property, your assets and your medical care, and this may mean making adjustments after a divorce. You may benefit from seeking a professional opinion regarding how you can take steps that will protect your interests and allow you to look to the future with confidence.   

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