Updating your estate plan is on your to-do list after your Ohio divorce; you know your ex-spouse is not the one you want to name as your health care proxy or life insurance beneficiary. However, the two of you have a child together, and that complicates the issue. The legal team at the law office of Gregg R. Lewis, Esq. - Harry Lewis Co., LPA, often counsels divorced parents with minor children in estate planning matters.

You and your spouse spent a long time considering before you chose the guardian who would take care of your child if both of you die. In your new will, you may name someone else, but this could lead to litigation and will contests if your former spouse names another person. If at all possible, the two of you should cooperate and name the same person in your updated wills to reduce the chance of conflict and emotional distress for your child in the event that he or she loses both parents.

The American Bar Association notes that your ex will almost certainly become your child’s sole guardian if you die. This does not mean he or she gets to be in charge of how your child’s inheritance is spent, though. You may set up a trust for your child and appoint a trustee to be responsible for the assets, including their distribution and how they are used. Alternately, you could name a property guardian to manage the assets you leave behind until your child is 18.

More information about post-divorce estate planning tools to ensure your child’s well-being is available on our webpage.