Planning Your Estate As Your Life Changes

An estate plan allows you to prepare for your future, your family and all that you have worked hard to create throughout your lifetime. However, as your life changes, your estate plan must also evolve.

At Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, our attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience in providing customized, knowledgeable guidance to individuals across Arizona. After a divorce and re-marriage, we stress the importance of updating your plans to accommodate your new reality. Proactively making changes can ensure that nothing is left undone or unchanged should something unexpected occur.

Protecting The Rights Of Your Children

One of the biggest motivators to create or update your estate plan after remarrying is to preserve the rights of your biological child or children from a previous relationship. Without a will, your spouse is the individual legally recognized by the state of Arizona as the primary predecessor to your estate. You could risk your children receiving nothing or very little of what you had intended if you fail to actively protect their rights.

Ensuring Your Beneficiary Designations Are Updated

Failing to update your beneficiary designations on key retirement accounts or life insurance policies can be a devastating mistake. Such accounts or policies could include:

  • A life insurance policy
  • Employer-sponsored retirement accounts
  • Pension plans
  • Other retirement savings vehicles
  • Investment accounts
  • Educational savings plans

It is crucial to update your beneficiary designations after a divorce, second marriage or another life change. Without proactively updating your beneficiaries, you risk your assets legally going to an ex-spouse upon your premature death.

Practical Advice For Complicated Plans

Whatever your goals may be, we offer practical advice to accommodate your blended family. We can advise on how to protect the rights of your children and when to update your beneficiary designations. We can also assist with any unique exceptions to these goals, such as if the terms of your divorce obligate you to maintain your ex-spouse as the beneficiary to your retirement account.

Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs With A Lawyer

Postponing an update to your estate plan after a major life change can result in out-of-date wishes should something occur. Consult with our lawyers to create or update your estate plan. Schedule an initial consultation at our Goodyear, Peoria or Phoenix offices. Call us at 623-748-4890 or email us through our online form.