In a way, divorce makes estate planning a little easier for parents. One of the hardest things about considering your own death is the idea that you and your spouse will die together and leave your children completely alone.
The likelihood of that occurring after your divorce drops significantly. After all, the two of you will likely not ride in vehicles frequently together or go on joint vacation without your children. You have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your ex can step up and serve as the full-time parent if anything were to happen to you.
Unfortunately, that also means that you need to think very carefully about the inheritance you want to leave for your children when you die.
Plan ahead to protect your legacy from a vindictive ex
Although your ex may not begrudge your children the comfort of an inheritance, they may still have negative feelings toward you that cloud their judgment. They might use up every cent you set aside for your children to cover expenses while the kids are still minors.
By the time your children become adults and have the right to control their own inheritances, there might be nothing left. Creating a trust for your children and moving assets that you want them to inherit, ranging from your life insurance proceeds to your house, into the trust can be a quick and effective means of protecting that inheritance from your former spouse.
Removing your ex as a beneficiary isn’t enough if they will gain control over your property because your children are too young to inherit on their own. Revisiting your estate plan during or after a divorce can help maximize the protection in your plan for you and the other people you love.