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How to update your estate plan after a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Divorce can be so exhausting that tackling more legal paperwork is probably the last thing you feel like doing. Yet, if you do not promptly revise your estate plan to reflect your new status, you could easily forget, and that could have negative consequences should you fall seriously ill or die.

Here are some of the updates you need to consider making:

Your beneficiary designations

If you had named your spouse as a beneficiary on something like a life insurance plan, you should remove them and designate someone else unless you are still happy for those funds to go to them when you die.

Beneficiary designations supersede anything you write in a will. So even if you write in your will that you will leave everything to your only child, a fund with a beneficiary designation still in your former spouse’s name would be paid to your ex rather than your child.

Powers of attorney

Perhaps you gave your spouse power of attorney for your legal affairs or to make decisions about your health care if you are unable to speak for yourself. You need to replace them with someone else unless you are both happy for them to continue holding these responsibilities.

Adjusting your plan to your new estate

Your total estate will likely dwindle in the divorce, and you must revise your estate plan to reflect this. Mentioning things you no longer own or failing to mention assets you gained in the divorce will confuse those you leave behind.

As with any legal matter, it’s wise to get guidance to help you make these changes and ensure that your estate plan reflects your current wishes and situation.