Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a brilliant book. It tells the tale of an African man as his society is introduced to the modern, Western world. Everything changes. You might be far removed from the reality that is exposed in the novel, but you can learn lessons from the title. Things really do fall apart for all of us. What we planned for and what we thought would happen all too often do not work out. You probably thought your marriage would last forever when you were at the altar, but the reality is that some marriages end in divorce. When they do, people need to change their estate plans.
Most people make their estate plans in a way that leaves the overwhelming majority of their property to their spouses. But, what happens if you have divorced that spouse? If it’s a Will, then the law may automatically cut the spouse out and distribute the property according to state law. Other estate planning instruments are not so simple.
If you do happen to get divorced, make sure that you talk to your estate planning attorney. Ask your attorney how to update your estate plan to reflect your changed circumstances.
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