Discreet Family Law Representation

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How might your divorce impact your estate plans?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Divorce

Past posts on this blog touch upon the fact that there are a number of financial considerations for you (or a loved one) to review following the conclusion of divorce proceedings in Kentucky. One that may not be at the forefront of your (or your loved one’s) mind is estate plans. Yet a divorce no doubt impacts the expectations regarding the dispersal of an estate.  

Yet what if you have a loved one who dies before they update their estate plans? Does that mean that their ex-spouse stands to benefit from their estate?  

The effect of divorce on estate plans

State law makes allowances for those who fail to update their estate plans following their divorces. Indeed, according to 394.092 of Kentucky’s Revised Statutes, a divorce essentially invalidates in provision in a will referring to one’s ex-spouse, including:  

  • Dispositions of property 
  • Delegations of special powers 
  • Nominations to positions of authority 

From a legal perspective, it would be as though the ex-spouse pre-deceased the settlor. Thus, the concern that your loved one’s estate could inadvertently go to their ex-spouse is not warranted.  

Is completely excluding your ex-spouse a good idea?

Speaking of your own estate plans, you may want to consider whether completely excluding your ex-spouse is in your best interest. While you may not want them to be the primary beneficiaries of your estate, there may still be a role for them. Say you have young children together. Your ex-spouse is likely as invested in their financial well-being as you are. Therefore, naming your spouse trustee over any assets you may leave your kids might ensure the sound management of those funds prior to them reaching the age of majority.