Numerous estate planning changes may be required after you get a divorce. Some of these may occur automatically but it is a mistake to assume that all of these will be updated immediately without additional provisions.
Any separation agreement in New York typically includes provisions for the estate which may call for things, such as removing the spouses from retirement accounts and estate planning documents as necessary.
Bequests that are made to a previous spouse in a will that was prepared during the course of the marriage is voided in a divorce. However, it is important to note that the New York will is not invalidated, rather that the structure behind the will is no longer valid. It’s a good idea to meet with a New York City estate planning attorney to create a new will to realign your assets and match them with the right people. A trust is a matter that is handled separately.
Revocable trusts can be revoked at any point in time, including those trusts that hold assets that are part of the divorce property division. Your revocable trusts, however, that have marital property, are less likely to be dissolved.
Distributions may still be made to an ex-spouse as directed by an irrevocable trust depending on the terms. It is also important to make updates to any beneficiary designations when you get divorced including those on life insurance policies and retirement accounts. If you need assistance in crafting a customized new estate plan after getting a divorce, contact a qualified attorney to learn more.