Be Careful About Estate Plans After Divorce

If you are newly divorced, you’ve likely got a lot on your mind. But don’t forget to update the financial arrangements that take effect upon your death.

If you don’t, some assets could end up going to your former spouse or his or her family.

An article on marketwatch.com illustrates what can happen if you don’t pay close attention. The family of Robyn Lewis, who died five years ago, is fighting her former in-laws, who are in line to inherit a $200,000 home in New York, even though she and her husband had divorced five years prior to her death.

She had executed a will that named her then-husband to receiver her property at her death, including the house that had been in her family for generations. She named her father-in-law as the secondary beneficiary.

While New York law automatically cut her ex-husband out of her will on her divorce, it did not cut out the father-in-law. Supposedly, Lewis had made out a new will to change the beneficiaries, but it could not be found.

A court upheld the will, although the decision is being appealed.

The lesson is to stay on top of your estate plans, the story points out.

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