As you go through a divorce, your estate plan may be the furthest thing from your mind. Despite the financial and emotional turmoil, you must remember to update your estate plan. If you do not revisit your will or trust, your ex could inherit some of your assets. Do not make the mistake of putting this off.
Your estate plan should reflect your current wishes. After a divorce, you likely no longer want your money and property distributed in the same ways as before. Here are three things you should do about your estate plan after divorce.
1. Revoke your will or trust
Begin by revoking an existing will or living trust. The best way to do this is by creating a new one to replace it. Simply ripping up your original one may not be enough to ensure the proper transfer of your assets. Play it safe by creating a new will or trust with your updated desires.
2. Update beneficiaries
Your will may not cover certain valuable assets. Your insurance company or bank may hold assets that will transfer outside of the terms of your will. Update the beneficiaries listed for your retirement accounts, life insurance policies and pay-on-death bank accounts. Request new forms from your brokerage company, employer or bank and submit them with updates as soon as you can.
3. Designate new powers of attorney
Powers of attorney are documents that give someone the responsibility of making important medical and financial decisions for you. Many people use a power of attorney document to give their spouses this authority. If you did this, you likely want to revoke them and create new documents.
Divorce affects every aspect of your life, including what will happen to your assets after your death. Give yourself and your heirs peace of mind by revisiting your estate plan now. Talk to an estate planning attorney for help.