Separate Estate Plans After Divorce

If you are newly divorced, you’ve likely got a lot on your plate. But don’t forget to update the financial arrangements that go into effect upon your death.

If you don’t, certain assets could end up going to your former spouse or his or her family.

A story on illustrates what can happen if you don’t pay attention. The family of Robyn Lewis, who died five years ago, is fighting her former in-laws, who are in line to inherit a $200,000 home in New York, even though she and her husband had divorced five years before her death.

She had executed a will that named her then-husband to receive her property at her death, including the house that had been in her family for generations. She named her father-in-law as the secondary beneficiary.

While New York law automatically cut her ex-husband out of her will on her divorce, it did not cut out the father-in-law. Supposedly, Lewis had made out a new will to change the beneficiaries, but nobody could find it.

A court upheld the will, though the decision is being appealed.

The lesson is to stay on top of your estate plans, the story says.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to call us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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