Going through a divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining experience. Amidst all the chaos, it's easy to overlook the importance of updating your estate plan. However, failing to do so can have severe consequences for your loved ones. Here's what you need to know about estate planning after a divorce.
1. Update Your Beneficiary Designations
One of the most crucial steps in estate planning after a divorce is updating your beneficiary designations. Failing to do so can result in your ex-spouse inheriting your assets, even if you intended otherwise. Therefore, it's essential to review and update your beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets.
2. Update Your Will and Trust
If you have a will or trust, it's crucial to update it after a divorce. You may need to revise your estate plan to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, executor, or trustee. Additionally, you may want to consider setting up a trust to protect your assets and ensure they're distributed according to your wishes.
3. Consider Guardianship for Your Children
If you have children, it's essential to update your estate plan to ensure their well-being in case of your untimely death. You may want to consider setting up a guardianship to appoint a trusted individual to care for your children. Additionally, you may want to set up a trust to provide for your children's financial needs.
4. Review Your Healthcare Directives
If you have healthcare directives, such as a living will or power of attorney, it's crucial to review and update them after a divorce. You may want to appoint a new healthcare agent or change your end-of-life wishes.
5. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning after a divorce can be a complex process, and it's essential to get professional help. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities and ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes.
Bottom line, estate planning after a divorce is a crucial step in protecting your assets and ensuring your loved ones are taken care of. By updating your beneficiary designations, will and trust, guardianship for your children, healthcare directives, and consulting an estate planning attorney, you can ensure your estate plan reflects your current wishes.
At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, we understand the importance of estate planning after a divorce. Contact us today to learn more.