Estate Planning During Divorce

Divorce is a major life event that requires a new look at your intentions and a plan for having them fulfilled. Either the preparation of or the restructuring of your estate plan is important at this time. Updating or creating an estate plan during your divorce is critical to ensure that you are adequately protected during the process and to prevent any unintended consequences that may result if you were to die before the divorce is finalized. This is particularly important if you have children.

     If you do not have a will:

If you do not have a will and die before the divorce is finalized, all of your probate assets will be inherited by your estranged spouse.

     If you have a will:

If you have a will that names your spouse as a beneficiary and administrator of your estate and you die before your divorce is finalized, you will be considered married at death. Thus, your estranged spouse will inherit and administer your estate, per the terms of your will.

     Updating your will during your divorce:

Updating your will to remove your spouse as a beneficiary and the administrator of your estate will protect your assets and your children’s inheritance. If you revise your will during your divorce and remove your spouse as a beneficiary, and then die before your divorce is final, then under Nebraska law, your estranged spouse can only receive his or her elective share, or one-half of the estate.

     Updating your will after your divorce:

In the state of Nebraska, after your divorce is finalized, the provision of your will that names your former spouse as a beneficiary of your estate is automatically revoked. Likewise, the provision that names your former spouse as the administrator of your will is also revoked.

     Powers of Attorney:

It’s important to update or revise your power of attorney designations during your divorce to ensure that someone other than your estranged spouse will be responsible for making important health care and financial decisions of your behalf.


Contact our office to schedule a consultation to ensure that your assets are protected during your divorce by revising or creating an estate plan that ensures that your intentions for your children and your estate are fulfilled.