A divorce is no doubt a challenging time in the lives of all who go through one. Even for the amicable splits, the time spent doing paperwork and discussing the best division of assets can be draining. Unfortunately, the issuance of a divorce decree or separation agreement is not the end of the journey. You will need to make changes to your estate plan to reflect your new circumstances and avoid regret down the road.
Do not think that changing your will is the only update you will need to make. After a divorce, any document may include your former spouse as a beneficiary. Pay special attention to your will, of course, but also consider your living trust and power of attorney documents. Also, be sure to update any life insurance policies or transfer-on-death provisions as well.
Updating Your Documents
If you’ve been through a divorce, consider revising your old will by executing a new one and destroying the old one. This will work to revoke the old will. Provisions that may need rewriting include arranging for any property previously designated for your spouse to go to an alternate beneficiary, updating the executor of your estate if it was previously your spouse, and designating a guardian of your children. Even though in all likelihood your spouse will be awarded custody of your children in the event of your death, if your wishes are for your children to live with another guardian, you should still include that language in your will.