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There’s no question that navigating a divorce can be extremely difficult; there are a handful of important considerations to keep in mind as the dust settles–one of them being your estate plan.


I thought I’d reach out and share some insights on a few of the steps to take regarding estate planning after divorce papers have been finalized.


1. Update Will and Trust 


Many married couples have a will or trust that benefits their spouse–and even though the marriage is over, those provisions are usually still in effect until you say otherwise. You’ll need to revoke your existing will or trust and update it to remove your ex-spouse and assign a new heir (or heirs).


If you have children under 18, you’ll also need to assign a guardian in the event that you pass away. Typically the surviving parent will get custody of the kids even if you’re divorced, but if they too pass away or are deemed unfit for any reason, you’ll want to have another guardian named. The guardian may also control any money you leave to the kids until they become legal adults, which is something to keep in mind.


2. Redesignate Beneficiaries


Many people name their spouses as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, bank accounts, and retirement funds. These types of assets are distributed directly to the beneficiary when you pass away, rather than going through probate court. You’ll need to update your beneficiary forms to remove your spouse and designate a new person to receive those assets. This is typically as simple as requesting a new form from the institution.


3. Reassign Powers of Attorney 


It’s common for married couples to give one another medical and financial powers of attorney in the event that one spouse is unable to make health-related or financial decisions for themselves. After getting divorced, you may not want that responsibility to remain with your ex. We can easily revoke the powers of attorney and choose someone more suitable, like a sibling or child, to replace them.


If you have any questions about this information or would like advice about your estate plan, give me a call and we’ll schedule some time to talk more in-depth. We are here when you need us.