There are several estate planning steps to consider taking after divorce:
Start by revoking your old will and making a new one. If you don’t already have a will, now is a good time to make one. In it you should:
If you made a will while you were married, you may have left everything to your spouse. You probably want to change that now. You can start with a new will naming new beneficiaries and alternates.
A key reason that many parents of young children make wills is to name a guardian to raise their children in the event that neither parent was available. A court will appoint a guardian to care for a child only if both parents are deceased or unfit. Under most circumstances, the other parent will be the custodian of the children, however it is still important to have a back-up plan.
Many assets pass outside of a will to beneficiaries named on bank or insurance paperwork. Update your beneficiary designations for:
To name a new person to inherit these assets, update beneficiary documents from your bank, brokerage company, or employer.
Powers of attorney are documents that give someone authority to act for you. You should consider having two powers of attorney: one for medical decisions and one for finances. If you have powers of attorney that give your former spouse authority, revoke them and make new ones. For your estate planning needs, consult with an experienced attorney.