Should you revisit your estate plan when getting divorced?

A law practice devoted to family law is about much more than divorce. In fact, our lawyers understand that legal planning can help individuals navigate through many life events. Of course, a divorce may also require an individual to revisit other legal areas, such as estate planning.

Indeed, we advise nearly all of our divorce clients to revise their estate plans. Interestingly, a recent article suggests that individuals nearing retirement age might take particular heed of this advice. The reason: Divorce among Americans 65 years of age or older tripled between 1990 and 2012.

Commentators say that such gray divorces can present extra difficulties because individuals have fewer working years to recover financially. However, there are strategies to help this process. One is to utilize catch-up rules for retirement contributions. Those rules allow an individual 50 years of age or older to annually contribute more to his or her 401(k), Roth or traditional IRA account. A divorce on the eve of retirement also creates more urgency to update beneficiary designations in retirement accounts before they vest. A first step might be changing power of attorney designations on estate planning documents from an ex-spouse to a new spouse, loved one or other advisor. Our law firm offers free monthly seminars on important topics, with our next workshop addressing various estate planning issues. We believe it is important to advise clients on both family law and estate planning issues, due to the overlap described above. Source: Forbes, "Easing The Financial Impact Of Divorce In Retirement," Juliette Fairley, Jan. 22, 2016