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5 Estate Planning Steps You Need To Take After Divorce

by Jamie Nichols

The process of divorce can feel like a whirlwind. Instantly, you are faced with new decisions to make and steps you need to take to protect yourself and those you care about. Among the steps you need to take include examining your estate planning materials. Otherwise, you might not realize that your ex-spouse is guaranteed more benefits than you originally intended to offer him or her post-divorce.

These are some steps you should take after your marriage has ended to ensure that your assets and wishes are protected:

1. Update Your Will

The will is one of the first documents people think about when they consider estate planning. In some states, failing to update your will could mean that your ex-spouse is still your designated heir. Drafting a new will allows you to revoke this former document.

It is important that you have all the proper paperwork notarized and established with your lawyer to ensure that it is official and legal in your state.

2. Update Your Trustee

If you have a trustee appointed to manage your account, make sure that you don't have your ex-spouse listed as the person in charge of managing your estate in the case of your passing. In some states, your trustee is not automatically revoked simply because you get divorced.

Remember that a trustee does not have to be a spouse. It can be anybody in your life that you trust to distribute your assets as they see fit.

3. Update Guardians for Children

If you have minor children who do not share your ex-spouse as a parent, ensure that you have updated your documents so that you appoint appropriate guardians for them. The guardian should be somebody you trust to care for and nourish your children.

4. Update Health Care Directives

Your health care directive is the document specifying what is to happen to you if you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. This document is meant to protect your desires for the future. The individual in charge of your medical decisions should be trusted.

5. Update Beneficiaries

If you have life insurance or similar programs in place, make sure that you update this information with a new beneficiary. This is the person who benefits from your insurance policies.

Ultimately, it is essential that you talk to your attorney about any possible changes you want to make to your estate or other important documents. Your ex-spouse can be removed as you see fit. Contact a company like Klotz Jean Law Office Of for more information and assistance.