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How Estate Planning Can Change After Divorce

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves more than just writing a will; it encompasses strategies to manage and distribute your assets, healthcare directives, and decisions about beneficiaries. A divorce is a significant life event that can affect your estate plan in various ways. 

Let’s explore how your estate planning may need adjustments post-divorce.

Revising Your Will and Beneficiaries

After a divorce, you might want to revisit your will to reflect your current wishes. In many cases, divorce decrees automatically revoke any provisions naming your former spouse in your will. 

Review and update beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, bank accounts, and other assets to ensure they align with your new circumstances.

Guardianship and Trusts for Children

If you have children from the marriage, updating guardianship designations in your estate plan becomes crucial. It’s essential to choose a trusted individual who will take care of your children in the event of your incapacity or passing.

Additionally, if you’ve established trusts for your children’s inheritance, you might need to adjust the terms and trustees based on the divorce settlement.

Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney

During your marriage, your former spouse might have been your healthcare proxy or held power of attorney. After divorce, you might want to appoint someone else you trust to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. Review and update these documents to reflect your current wishes.

Property Ownership and Titles

Divorce often involves the division of property and assets. Ensure that titles and ownership documents for real estate, vehicles, or other properties accurately reflect the court’s division. Transfer ownership as per the divorce settlement to avoid potential conflicts or complications in the future. Contact a family attorneys eau claire wi for divorce settlement.

Retirement Accounts and Pension Plans

Divorce can impact retirement accounts and pension plans, especially if they were subject to equitable distribution during the divorce proceedings. Revisit your retirement savings and ensure the named beneficiaries align with your current intentions, considering any changes in your financial situation post-divorce.

Reviewing Trusts and Estate Executors

If you’ve established trusts or appointed an executor for your estate, it’s prudent to review and potentially modify these arrangements after divorce. Your former spouse might have been involved in these roles, and you might prefer someone else to manage your estate affairs or oversee trust distributions.

Seek Legal and Financial Guidance

Navigating post-divorce estate planning can be complex, considering the legal and financial implications. Consulting with an attorney specializing in estate planning Lancaster, OH or a financial advisor can provide valuable insights into updating your estate plan effectively.

Debt and Financial Obligations

Post-divorce, there might be changes in your financial obligations, especially concerning debts accumulated during the marriage. Review any joint debts, loans, or liabilities and ensure they’re addressed in your estate plan

Consider how these debts will be settled and whether any provisions need to be made to protect your estate and beneficiaries.

Digital Assets and Online Presence

In this digital age, don’t overlook your digital assets. Review and update instructions for accessing and managing online accounts, including social media, email, cryptocurrency, and other digital assets. 

Determine who should have access to these accounts or whether you wish to include specific instructions regarding their management or closure in your estate plan.