A divorce can be devastating. And your estate plan is probably not high on your list of concerns. But it should be. In most cases, a soon to be ex-spouse is not the ideal person to be the beneficiary of your estate, your power of attorney or your health care surrogate. That means all of those critical documents need to be update ASAP.
Review your will, if it leaves everything to your surviving spouse, it’s time for an update. Consider a trust for your assets and appoint someone close to you as trustee.
Update the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policy, retirement plans, annuities and bank accounts, since those designations will override your will.
When it comes to guardianship of your minor children, don’t just expect your ex will assume the duties. If he or she is unfit, or simply not interested, you’ll need a revised estate plan that includes a guardian.
Next is estate taxes- in a high net worth situation, it’s important to be aware of the estate tax exemptions and how they differ for single people and married couples.
And finally, don’t forget to retitle your assets. Whether it’s your primary residence, a vacation home, your business or vehicles, your ex’s name should no longer appear on the title.
Divorce, and its impact on your estate plan, will affect you and your children’s future.