How to reassess your estate plans after a divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2021 | Estate Planning

Whenever you hit a major “milestone” event in your life, it’s a good idea to review your estate plans and update them. It’s also a good idea to do so when you go through something unfortunate, like a divorce.

There are many reasons why you should do this. Your former spouse may be an integral part of your current plans, and that probably isn’t the person you’d choose for those spots after your divorce. 

Start by revisiting your will

One of the first steps you’ll want to take immediately following your divorce is to review your will. You may have once listed your former spouse as a beneficiary. You might want to update it to your kids or someone else close to you if you originally left your assets to them.  

You may also want to review the listing of your property that you intended to leave behind for others in the event you passed. You may no longer own some of the assets you planned to leave behind to someone and thus need to update your list and their eventual benefactors.

Another detail that you’ll want to check for when reviewing your will is who you’d like to serve as your kids’ guardian if something happened to you. You should ensure that your appointee reflects your current preferences. 

Look at other documents that connect to your end-of-life plans

Medical directives are also known as living wills. You generally draft them giving someone close to you, such as a spouse, a right to step in and voice your medical preferences if you’re unable to do so yourself. You may feel uncomfortable with your ex having such control now that you’re no longer together, so you might want to appoint someone else to this role when redrafting this legal document. 

A power of attorney is another document that you may want to update, especially since it gives the appointee the ability to make impactful financial decisions in your absence. You may also need to update trust and insurance policy beneficiary designations. 

Don’t leave your future to chance, and don’t let an outdated estate plan ride. Talk to an experienced advocate about the revisions you need to make and learn more about your options today.