Few things are more emotionally and financially difficult than a divorce. As you end your marriage, your estate plan may be the last thing you are thinking about. However, it is crucial to keep your estate in mind during this tumultuous time.
It is crucial to review and update your estate plan after any substantial life change. Here is a guideline for tweaking your estate plan after dissolving your marriage.
1. Beneficiary designations
Your soon-to-be ex-spouse is probably a beneficiary of a retirement account, life insurance policy, bank account or annuity contract. Chances are you do not want your former spouse to receive this property or money anymore. Therefore, changing these designations is a necessary step. All you need to do is request the relevant forms from the financial institution or employer in question.
2. Health care directives
If you created a health care directive while you were married, you probably gave your former partner the power to make important medical decisions for you. You may want to revoke this document or simply make a new one and name another trustworthy individual as your agent. If you make any changes, you should notify your health care providers.
3. Financial powers of attorney
A financial power of attorney is a document giving someone broad powers and responsibilities over your finances. The person you designate in this document may have the power to sell your property and take funds from your accounts. If your ex is on this document, you probably want to name someone else.
There are a lot of things to consider as you get a divorce. Divorcing significantly impacts how you see your property and finances. Do not make the mistake of neglecting your estate plan when your marriage ends. Make sure you review your documents with the help of an attorney to ensure your estate plan reflects your current wishes.
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