Many married couples create estate plans jointly, often with the intention of providing for their children in the event that something happens to them. Too many people forget about that cooperative last will or estate plan in their divorce, leaving their legacy vulnerable to serious problems in the future.
If you have already initiated the process of legally ending your marriage, you should also consider taking steps sooner rather than later to update your estate plan to reflect your new family situation. You may want to remove your ex as beneficiary, administrator or trustee as appropriate and consider taking further action to protect your legacy, especially if you share children.
A trust is often a smart move if you want to leave something for your kids
Perhaps one of the most concerning complications of post-divorce estate planning is the potential for your ex to gain access to or control over your assets. If you die when your children are still minors, any inheritance they receive will wind up under the control of the person with the legal authority over them.
Even if you currently have sole custody of your children, your ex will most likely step into that role at the time of your death unless they rescind their parental rights or the state terminates them. By putting the assets you want to leave for your children in a trust, you ensure that your ex can’t access those assets or can only use them to cover very specific expenses, thereby ensuring that there will still be an inheritance available to your children when they reach adulthood.