For many people, navigating through a divorce is a challenge. It’s easy to become so focused on the property division, child custody and similar aspects of divorce that you forget about other areas of your life that need to be addressed. One of these is your estate plan.
You should wait until the divorce is finalized before you update your estate plan. This ensures that you only include assets that you still own. Plus, the estate plan will have to comply with the terms of the divorce. In some cases, your estate will have obligations to your ex after you pass away. Because of this, you should bring your attorney a copy of the final divorce paperwork.
What should you ensure you check and update?
One of the most important things that you need to check and update is the beneficiary on your will and on any trusts that you have established. The individual named might be your ex. You’ll need to update this unless you want to pass things down to your ex, so they can care for your children.
You also need to check the power of attorney designations that you have in your estate plan. These might also be your ex, but you probably don’t want an ex-spouse making decisions about your medical care or finances once the divorce is done.
While you’re handling your estate plan, make sure you also look into the payable on death designations that you have on financial accounts. The person who you give that designation will receive the entire account if you pass away.
Your attorney can help you determine exactly how to set up your estate plan, so it reflects your current wishes. Once this is done, remember to review it periodically.