Divorce is challenging. There’s no way around it. A million things are going to change in your life, seemingly all at once, even in the best-case situation, when everything is as amicable as it can be and all parties are in complete accord. And it's difficult.
Your Estate Plan is one of the greatest changes you'll have to make either during or immediately after your divorce. Your plans must take into account the likelihood that your requirements, priorities, and life objectives will all slightly change.
There's a significant likelihood that your ex is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement account, or bank account that is "payable on death" even if you've never completed any estate planning documentation. This implies that, unless you choose another recipient, your ex will likely receive the funds.
Revoke your Last Will and Testament
Depending on the laws of your state, you might be able to update your Last Will and Testament and other estate planning documents while the divorce is still pending, or you might have to wait until it has been resolved. There are a number of compelling reasons to update your will or write one for the first time.
1. If your will bequeaths property to your ex-spouse those conditions will remain in effect.
2. Even if you haven't spoken to your ex in years and they are the executor of your Last Will, they can still be permitted to carry out this crucial task.
3. There is a good probability that an ex-in-law you haven't spoken to in a long time will be caring for your children if they are mentioned in your last Will.
Try TrulyWill for Free to make your Last Will and Testament online within a few minutes.
You may also find your state-specific requirements for a Last Will and Testament in this article.
Update your Living Trust
A Living Trust gives the beneficiaries of your estate quick access to your assets, which may be beneficial if your child is still a minor. In light of your divorce, it's crucial to review any revocable living trusts you may have created for your children or yourself. Many couples create joint trusts or appoint one another as trustees to manage the trust's assets following the death of one partner. Your ex-partner can also be a trust beneficiary.
This indicates that your ex might get your assets if you do not update your trust. Alternatively, your ex might decide how your money is spent on your kids.
Read this article to know the benefits of a Living Trust.
Name New Beneficiaries and Powers of Attorney
There are many items that are passed down through a Will when someone goes away but are not considered to be a part of their "estate." Instead, these assets flow directly to the beneficiary you have chosen upon your death who is usually your ex-spouse. These consist of:
- Retirement accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions
- Life insurance policies
- Bank accounts with a "payable on death" clause
- Investment accounts that are "transfer on death"
Make contact with the organizations and businesses that hold your accounts and policies after your divorce is legally finalized. Find out who is named as a beneficiary and, if necessary, update this information. Just because the divorce decree gives you something doesn't mean the beneficiaries have been changed.
Create Financial Power of attorney and Advance Healthcare Directives
You can designate someone in a financial power of attorney document to manage your finances. They will be able to access your bank accounts and make payments for your taxes and bills. Additionally, they will be in charge of managing your children's financial assistance by covering day-to-day expenses and their schooling. You designate the authority you want to provide your "agent."
If your first agent is unable or unwilling to serve, you should also name a backup agent in addition to your original pick.
When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical/Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA), these two legal documents become an Advance Directive.
Advance Healthcare Directive is a collection of different legal documents. It allows you to give directions or appoint a person to act on your behalf if any unanticipated situation arises that leaves you incapable of expressing the consent and wish concerning the medical treatment and care to be given to you.
Sign a HIPAA Authorization Waiver
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a Public law that aims to protect and do public welfare. As the Right to privacy is one of the fundamental rights, HIPAA prohibits sharing your medical information with anyone not directly affected by said information. Therefore, if you become mentally incapacitated and cannot make important health decisions on your own, your loved ones may not be able to access important information regarding your condition.
As a single parent, sharing information about your condition can be essential to your health. The HIPAA authorization waiver allows single parents to create a list of people they authorize to access this information to help their medical team make the appropriate decisions for their care and even their children’s care if needed.
Do you need an attorney to update your Estate Plan after Divorce?
Taking assistance from an Estate Planning Attorney is always suggested if you want to make changes to any of your Estate Planning documents.
Estate planning attorneys help you update your Estate planning documents easily and effectively making them legally valid.
TrulyWill offers online services to update your Estate planning documents from the comfort of your home if you create a Last Will or Trust using TrulyWill.