The Attorneys Of Stewart Sorice Farrell Finoli And Cavanaugh LLC

Why keep your ex-spouse as part of your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | Family Law |

It goes without saying that your divorce in Greensburg will bring with it a great number of changes. One of these will almost certainly be your desires regarding who you would like to be your primary beneficiaries should you die unexpectedly. If you have already begun the estate planning process, then you likely designated your ex-spouse as having a prominent role in your estate. Now that you are divorced, however, your attitude has likely changed. Yet while your initial will remains unrevised, does that mean your ex-spouse still stands to inherit assets from your estate? 

The answer to that question is no. Indeed, according to Section 6111.1 of the Consolidated Statutes of Pennsylvania, any provisions of your will that conveyed property to your ex-spouse become invalid once you are divorced. The same typically holds true for any powers of appointment (e.g. the executor of your estate). 

However, if you stipulate in your will that your ex-spouse is still to have a role in your estate even after your divorce, the court will honor that. Why would you want to do this? You may want to give your ex-spouse an administrative role in your estate if you fear that your designated beneficiaries will not be able to effectively manage the assets and properties you leave to them (a great example of this would be you name your minor children as your beneficiaries). In this scenario, it may be advantageous to name your ex-spouse as a temporary trustee over your kids’ assets until the reach the age of adulthood. As your children’s financial futures is equally as important to your ex-spouse as it is to you, they might be the perfect person to appoint to such a role.