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4 estate planning documents to revisit after a divorce

If you are thinking about getting a divorce or are already starting the process, you need to review your estate plans. Ending your marriage is a significant life change, which means you likely need to make some changes to your estate plans so it reflects your new desires. 

You probably do not want your ex to inherit your estate or be in charge of administering it if you pass away. Here are some essential documents you must review if you are splitting up.

1. Will

Is your spouse the executor of your estate? Consider changing that. Additionally, you may want to designate a secondary guardian of your children in your will. Think about what you want to leave your spouse, too. Do you want to disinherit your spouse? You can consult an attorney to determine what, if anything, you should leave your spouse to avoid a will contest in the future.

2. Trust

As with your will, the main concern with your trust is what you will leave your spouse. Your trust may also include gifts for his or her family, which you may want to remove. If you have young children, you may also want to name a trustee other than your spouse, unless you want he or she to access and manage that money if you die.

3. Power of attorney

You may have given your spouse the responsibility to act as your financial agent by signing a power of attorney. If this is the case, you may want to rethink that designation. Consider naming a dear friend or close family member instead. 

4. Beneficiary designations

Your spouse may be listed as a beneficiary on your bank accounts, retirement accounts or life insurance policies. Designate other people if you do not want your spouse receiving these funds when you die.

Revisiting your estate plan is necessary when getting a divorce. Take care of your estate planning matters sooner rather than later.

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