Divorce requires you to make changes in many aspects of life. One area that can be easy to forget about is your estate planning.
You should revise your estate plan every few years anyway. Yet, you should also do so whenever there is a significant change in your financial fortunes or personal situation.
Your estate will not be the same as it was when you were married
You cannot leave the city apartment to your daughter if you lose it in your divorce. If your estate plan is not an accurate representation of your estate, it could create confusion when you die. When your estate passes through probate, uncertainty or a dispute over even one asset could delay the distribution of all assets. Here are two more things to consider:
- Your intentions may change: You can divorce your spouse and still choose to leave them everything you own. Yet, you probably do not want to. You need to check retirement plans that may have beneficiary designations and update them and your will.
- The person you turn to for help may change: Would you be happy for your ex-spouse to have control of your health and finances if illness or injury left you unable to speak for yourself? Updating your powers of attorney reduces the chance an unhappy ex taking their revenue. Even if you keep things civil, you may prefer to give someone else the burden of making certain choices for you.
If you already have an estate plan, updating it after divorce need not take long. Revisiting it is also an opportunity to learn more about the latest tax law changes and ensure that your estate plan remains valid.