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The importance of updating your estate plan during divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Divorce, Estate Planning |

As a married couple, you and your spouse’s estate plans and financial affairs have likely become intertwined. When you file for divorce, those documents could potentially be overlooked in the confusion and emotional upheaval. After a divorce, be sure to review your estate plan and make these three changes, if needed.

Change your beneficiaries

Most married couples designate each other as primary beneficiaries for life insurance policies, trust accounts and wills. After your divorce, update your beneficiaries on each of these accounts and documents to ensure your spouse is not entitled to any of these assets.

Update your assets and trusts

Your estate plan includes asset details and trust documentation that may change as a result of your divorce settlement. Revise these documents and update your trust accounts accordingly, removing any assets retained by your spouse so that your estate plan accurately reflects the assets you own.

Revise your power of attorney designations

Power of attorney is a valuable designation that married couples often use to ensure that either spouse can conduct business on behalf of both parties. Medical power of attorney allows an individual to make medical care decisions when the patient cannot. Update your power of attorney to revoke any designation given to your spouse. Appoint another family member or trusted friend in their place.

Your financial position often changes dramatically following a divorce. Equal division of assets, the sale of the marital home and the shift to a single-income household can create unique challenges. Keep your estate plan from slipping through the cracks in the aftermath of your split by remembering these tips and routinely reviewing your estate planning.