The process of getting divorced can be hard to move through. When you are finally divorced you will probably want a break from making decisions and taking care of legal matters. However, it is crucial to immediately update a few important areas of your life including your will, life insurance beneficiaries, and other estate planning documents.
Your divorce agreement may include some estate planning language as it pertains to your children, including how life insurance beneficiaries must be maintained. It is critical to not only follow these agreements, but to ensure that the other pieces of your estate are changed so your ex-spouse is removed and can no longer control your life or handle any of your affairs should something happen to you.
If your last will includes your former spouse, then you will need to update that information so your final arrangements, distribution of personal items, and your financial matters are handled according to your wishes. Remove your former spouse as your executor and ensure that they are no longer the recipient of any of your personal property. Additionally, should anything happen to you or your ex-spouse, you should name a guardian for your children.
Beneficiaries on Financial Accounts
Beneficiaries on your life insurance policies as well as investment and bank accounts need to be changed according to the policies and procedures established by each institution. Clearly stating your wishes in your will that you want your children to inherit your money is not enough. Each company is going to have a different form that needs to be correctly filled out to properly change your beneficiaries. If it is not done correctly the previous beneficiary stands, and your ex-spouse may wind up with a significant amount of money. Click here to read more about changing your life insurance policies.
Other Estate Planning Docs
Power of Attorney documents should be updated. In the event that you are rendered incapacitated, you want a trusted relative or friend to have the authority to make decisions for you. This includes matters related to your health as well as your financial matters.
When we work with clients we always work through these issues to ensure that your best interests are protected through your divorce and into your new adult life. Taking the time to ensure your will is properly updated after your divorce will give you peace of mind as you will know your final wishes are clearly stated.
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