Divorce can be a tumultuous time spent worrying about your kids, your money and your future. Estate planning is usually not high on the to do list. However, addressing your estate plan is an important piece of a divorce. Attorney Jan Myskoski’s recent New Hampshire Bar News article Get Out of My Will: Estate Planning and Divorce reviews the planning process before, during and after. 

Important take-aways from Attorney Myskoski’s article include:

  • Disinheriting a spouse is difficult, but you can limit an inheritance to the statutory share provided under RSA 560:10.
  • The anti-hypothecation issued in a divorce prevents a party from "selling, transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any manner whatsoever disposing of any property." However, the recent case of Elter-Nodvin v. Nodvin made clear that the anti-hypothecation does not restrain changes to life insurance beneficiaries, wills, and durable powers of attorney because there is no transfer of ownership while the party is alive. 
  • While RSA 551:13 revokes provisions in a will or revocable trust in favor of a former spouse, changes to durable powers of attorney and beneficiary designations under life policies, retirement accounts and the like must be directly modified. Otherwise, under Kennedy v. Plan Administrator, your former spouse will inherit your money.