How does a divorce affect your estate plan?

| Feb 10, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you have already written a comprehensive estate plan, you are probably doing better than your neighbors. After all, a recent survey found that as many as 6 out of every 10 Americans do not have even a basic will.

It is usually a good idea to review your estate plan after certain life events, including divorcing your spouse. In Colorado, dissolving your marriage is likely to have an immediate effect on your estate plan.

Colorado law

If you drafted your will or created a revocable trust during your marriage, Colorado law is likely to kick your spouse and any of his or her relatives out of it. That is, state law automatically revokes bequests and appointments, provided you made them in your will or revocable trust while your marriage was valid.

This provision does not apply to the children you share with your spouse, even though they are relatives of your husband or wife. Accordingly, any bequests and appointments you made to your kids in your will or revocable trust are likely to survive your divorce.

A voidability problem

Even though your spouse may automatically fall out of your will or revocable trust when you finalize your divorce, you probably want to rework your estate plan. That is, the automatic removal of your spouse may void the entire plan.

Estate planning should give you peace of mind. Because your divorce is likely to inject some uncertainty, you should plan to rewrite your estate plan after ending your marriage to be sure it continues to reflect your genuine wishes.