Many of your legal concerns will shift after a divorce. The estate plan you previously created may no longer serve your needs nor fulfill your wishes. Thinking carefully about how you want to rewrite your will and restructure your estate plan is very important – especially if you share children with your ex.
It’s not always enough to just remove your spouse as a beneficiary or someone who can act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. You also have to think about how your spouse could negatively impact other aspects of your planned legacy. Adding a trust to your estate documents can be an important way to protect the inheritance you want to leave for your children.
Why a trust could help
If you die while your children are still minors, then your ex will likely have sole custody of them and control over all their property. That will include the inheritance that you leave for them. The only way to prevent that outcome is to rework your estate plan so that your ex cannot access the resources you want your children to receive.
Creating a trust and naming someone other than your ex as the trustee will help ensure that the assets you leave for your children will go toward their needs and not toward your ex’s pleasure or personal enrichment. Additionally, you can put rules in place that guarantee that inheritance goes toward certain expenses, like college tuition or a down payment on their own house when they are older.
Reconsidering your estate plan after divorce can help you leave a legacy for the people who matter the most to you.