During a divorce, you and your ex will have to figure out how to split your property and agree to arrangements for shared custody if you have kids together. Whether you go through mediation, attempt a collaborative divorce or litigate your proceeding, you will likely feel relief when you no longer have to worry about going back to your lawyer’s office again.
Before you close the book on your prior marriage and move on with your life, it’s important that you revisit your estate plan. Why is it so crucial to change your estate planning documents after a divorce?
Your ex is probably the primary beneficiary
Even if you share children, you’ve likely made arrangements in your estate plan for most of your property to pass directly to your ex. You may have listed them as the recipient of your share of equity in the marital home or the person who will receive your life insurance payout after your death. You will need to go back through those documents and remove your former spouse from all of them.
It’s unlikely you want your ex to control your health or money
If you have powers of attorney, a trust or an advance directive discussing your medical wishes, you may have named your spouse as the person to act on your behalf.
In the event of your incapacitation, you need to be able to trust that the person who assumes a role of authority in your life as someone will act in your best interests. An angry former spouse might try to enrich themselves or even make decisions that could undermine your stated preferences.
Removing your spouse from all of your estate planning documents is a very important step to take to protect yourself and the people you love after a divorce.