Adjusting Your Estate Plan after a Divorce

Perhaps you and your spouse years ago established a clear estate plan in the event something was to happen to one or both of you. You decided which children would get what property, and how much money, and what would be set aside for future grandchildren's college funds, etc.; thinking that your marriage would last forever. Unfortunately, like many unions in today's society, you and your spouse decided it was time divorce; officially ending the marriage that has been for years slowly fading away.

While you are now overwhelmed with the extensive process of your divorce, addressing the issues of child custody, the division of assets and property, etc. the last thing on your mind is likely your estate plan. However, during a divorce is exactly when this plan needs to be revisited and revised. Now that you and your spouse are divorcing, it is likely that there are going to be things that you planned that you want to change; because you don't want certain things at your death now being left to go to the one you have divorce.

Due to the complicating process of estate planning in the midst of a divorce, be sure to contact a trusted probate attorney in your area who can help you walk through the many steps that lie ahead. With years of experience under their belts, they will be able to help you understand what exact changes need to be made in order to coincide with your new divorce plans. Three are three essential steps that must take place in order to change your estate plan in light of your divorce.

Revoke the old will and establish a new one. This step is absolutely crucial if you want to make sure that your soon-to-be ex isn't going to get something that you would prefer him not in the event of your death. Whether you have a will or a living trust, contact a probate lawyer to discuss what changes need to be made specifically for you. Within the will details such as who will inherit your property will be laid out. Also, you will name a person who is in charge of handling the estate and these matters when you pass on (and after a divorce you probably don't want it to be your ex), and if you have children nominating a guardian to care for them.

Update the beneficiaries on your will. After you and your spouse split, who you want to be receiving your most valuable assets may change, which is why you need to revisit your plan and possible change where the beneficiary designations will be. Make sure you address the details for your life insurance policies, pay-on-death bank accounts, retirement accounts, and transfer-on-death accounts. You will need to speak with all the parties involved in order to change the beneficiaries for these accounts including your employers, your bank, brokerage company, etc.; make sure you do this as soon as you can.

Change your power of attorneys. Lastly, this step is essential when changing your estate plans after a divorce. The power of attorney means that if something ever happens to you, an attorney will be listed to act on your behalf; and this is used often in the world of estate planning. Make sure that this is changed because you will want one that is separate from that of your spouse.

To learn more about estate planning and how to establish or revise your plan, contact a trusted probate attorney in your area for the legal assistance you deserve. There is no need to feel the weight of the legal process alone when there are attorneys who are more than willing to walk with you during the process, find one on our site close to you, today!