It’s no secret that divorce can impact your life emotionally and financially. But did you know it can also affect your estate plan?
If you have an estate plan in place, reviewing and revising it after finalizing your divorce is essential. Here are a few things to keep in mind when updating your estate plan:
- Your ex-spouse is no longer your beneficiary; update your will or trust accordingly.
- If you have minor children, you’ll need to designate a new guardian in your will or trust.
- Your ex-spouse is no longer entitled to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf. Be sure to update your power of attorney and healthcare directives accordingly.
- If you own property jointly with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to determine what to do with it after the divorce. For example, you may want to sell the property and divide the proceeds, or one of you may want to buy out the other’s interest.
Updating your estate plan after a divorce may seem daunting, but ensuring that your wishes are carried out according to your new circumstances is essential. With some effort, you can rest assured that your estate plan reflects your current situation and protects your interests moving forward.
What Changes Are Necessary?
Here are some changes that you may need to make to your estate plan:
- Change your beneficiaries: If you have named your ex-spouse as a beneficiary in your will or on any accounts, you need to change this. You should update your beneficiaries on your will, life insurance policy, retirement accounts, and any other accounts that name a beneficiary.
- Change your executor: If you have named your ex-spouse as executor of your estate, you will need to change this.
- Change your power of attorney: If you have named your ex-spouse as your power of attorney, you will likely need to change this. A power of attorney gives someone the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself.
- Update Your Will: If you have not updated your will since getting divorced, it is important to do so now. Make sure your will reflects any changes in assets or beneficiaries since the divorce.
Divorce may be emotionally and financially draining, but it does not have to leave you without a plan for the future. With some effort and reflection, you can ensure that your estate plan reflects the changes in your life after divorce. An experienced estate planning and family law attorney can show you the way.