Creating a new estate plan after a divorce is a critical step that often gets overlooked in the whirlwind of changes that divorce brings. An estate plan crafted during a marriage typically includes the former spouse in various roles and benefits, which may no longer be desirable or appropriate post-divorce.
Often, spouses are named primary beneficiaries in wills, retirement accounts, life insurance policies and other financial instruments. After a divorce, failing to update these documents means your ex-spouse could still inherit your assets, contrary to your current wishes.
Check all designations
Another critical aspect is reassigning roles such as the executor of your will, trustee of any trusts, or financial and healthcare power of attorney. These roles, often initially given to the spouse, should be reassigned to ensure that someone you currently trust has the authority to make decisions on your behalf in case of incapacity or death.
For those with children, divorce necessitates revisiting guardianship decisions. Your estate plan should reflect your current preferences for who should take care of your children if something happens to you. This is particularly important if you have concerns about the former spouse’s ability to care for the children alone.
Set the plan for assets
Your estate plan needs to reflect your current asset portfolio, which likely has changed post-divorce due to the division of property, assets and debts. Ensuring that your will and any trusts accurately reflect your current asset situation prevents confusion and legal complications after your death.
Knowing that your affairs are in order according to your current life situation and wishes can offer a sense of control and security during a tumultuous time. Contact us today for assistance protecting your interests throughout this major life change.