Post-divorce estate planning is vital for couples who have decided to end their marriage in the state of Ohio. The sad fact of the matter is that marriages are failing at incredible rates these days.

Upon divorce, issues can arise that affect your estate plan if it is not reviewed immediately. Included in this review is the review of beneficiary documents that detail what the former spouse gets upon death or what children get upon death.

In order to avoid various consequences following a divorce, a thorough review of your beneficiary forms and estate plan documents should be done with a family law attorney.

Most divorces come with a separation agreement, but if they don't, there are ways to protect assets so they are not taken by the former spouse. Despite this, it could be possible for unintended beneficiaries to inherit assets following a divorce.

When a divorce becomes final, the will assumes that the former spouse has died, meaning he or she will no longer be the beneficiary. If minor children are present, designate who will handle assets inherited by them if you pass so your former spouse does not have the ability to handle those assets.

Any life insurance policy acquired after 1990 and not subjected to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will no longer go to the former spouse after a divorce. When a divorce happens, the former spouse is no longer considered a beneficiary on such a policy.

Retirement plans could present a problem for couples headed for divorce. These are not affected by a divorce, which means a different agreement will have to be drafted between the spouses. Retirement plans fall under the federal law ERISA.

A divorce can affect powers of attorney, especially if the person named was your former spouse. A divorce could possibly end this designation, which means you might not have a power of attorney after the divorce.

An experienced family law attorney in Columbus, Ohio, can help you navigate the waters of post-divorce estate planning.

Source:, "Divorce makes big changes in estate plan," accessed Jan. 04, 2017

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