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Revise critical components of your estate plan after divorce

Married couples in Michigan know that sometimes, happily ever after does not turn out in their favor. Sadly, divorce can strike any couple if the situation behind the scenes deteriorates significantly.

As part of your marriage, you likely created an estate plan together. You also revised it when you had children or when there was a change in your finances or property holdings. When the marriage ends, the spouses must divide assets and go their separate ways. At this point, you may also want to look at your estate plan and do what you can to revise it per your current single states. Address these and other areas of your plan and change them accordingly.

Update healthcare proxy

When you hashed out your estate plan during your marriage, you likely gave much of the responsibility to your spouse. It did not only include the administrator for your will (if you died before your spouse), but it also probably gave him or her the power to make decisions for you. If you suffered an accident or illness that left you unable to make decisions for your care, you need someone you trust to advocate for you. In all likelihood, you appointed your spouse. Therefore, after divorce, it is best to change your  to a sibling or adult child.

Check your decree for change in beneficiary on insurance policies

In some divorce decrees, either spouse may have to keep the other as the beneficiary of insurance policies. The reason for this is usually due to child support or alimony obligations. In some cases, it may have to do with making an equalizing payment during property division. There are myriad reasons why former spouses must remain as part of the estate, so check your divorce decree before making too many changes.

Divorce is a monumental change. Take a look at your estate plan, and  the people you task with taking care of it and you.

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