You and your spouse worked hard to get an estate plan in place well before you needed it. You knew how important it was.
However, now you’re getting divorced. Don’t forget to update that estate plan as soon as possible.
For instance, you likely need to change your will. Even if the divorce invalidates portions of it, others may stand. For instance, maybe you left money to your niece on your ex’s side. Unless you still want to give it to her after the split, you need to update that or she’s still going to be entitled to it.
Another example is your life insurance policy. Perhaps you took it out to make sure your spouse was provided for, and he or she is named as the beneficiary. If you get divorced and then pass away, your ex may still be able to claim those benefits if his or her name is still on the paperwork. You’ll want to change it so that the policy pays out to your children, for instance, or you may want to cancel it entirely if you don’t have children.
Other documents to consider include any trusts that you set up, your medical power of attorney, a legal power of attorney or a living will.
The key is just to sit down and reassess your entire plan in light of the divorce. You made that plan as a married couple with joint goals, and it may have been perfect. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect or anywhere close after you split up, so it’s wise to consider all aspects of your estate plan with fresh eyes.
Source: The Balance, “5 Estate Planning Documents to Update When Getting a Divorce,” Patti Spencer, accessed Jan. 17, 2018