You have only one life to live. That does not mean you live a singular life. Residents of Arkansas can appreciate that life is complicated. Like a finely cut diamond, it has many facets. Additionally, most if not all those facets are affected by some law or another.

As we noted in a post back in July, the intersections of life and law can be hazardous. To avoid trouble, it helps to have a guide who knows the interplay of the legal aspects. With divorce as common as it is these days, family law and estate planning can be one of the busiest intersections of all. Like life, it’s not something you face only once. But you don’t have to do it alone.

As an example, consider this scenario. A couple weds and in the early stages of their relationship, they take out insurance policies. Each names the other as the beneficiary in a caring move to ensure neither faces financial chaos if the other dies. They draft a will together, too, or maybe they draft separate wills as part of their sensible estate planning.

Several years down the road, they divorce. Part of that process involves dividing property. It might also involve the editing of the wills to remove the ex-spouses from any inheritance. But will that be enough?

Remember those insurance policies. If the premiums are paid up, the policy remains in force. And if the beneficiaries on those policies aren’t changed, whoever is named could get the payout upon the insured’s death.

Depending on the laws of your state, dropping the name from the will won’t necessarily prevent payment of the benefit. So, if you want that money to go to someone else after a divorce, you should plan to change the name of the beneficiary on the policy.

Source: FindLaw, “Can You Disinherit Your Spouse?” by Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed Sept. 16, 2016