A divorce is an emotional experience, and it can be complicated to separate your finances and legal matters that involved your spouse. While some of these issues will be resolved through your property settlement in your divorce, there are still loose ends that you will need to take care of once your divorce is finalized.
Estate Planning and Other Documents to Revise Once Your Divorce Is Final
While you can make some changes to records on your own, others will require the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Here is a list of common documents that you may need to revise:
- Retirement accounts. If you have a 401K, IRA, or pension through your employer or that you opened, you most likely listed a beneficiary who would receive the money in these accounts after you die. Often this person is a spouse. You should check the beneficiaries for any retirement accounts you have and complete forms to change this individual if necessary.
- Life insurance. You most likely designated your spouse as a beneficiary of any life insurance policy that you have through your job or that you purchased. After your divorce, you will want to select your children or another person as your beneficiary.
- Will and trust. A will and trust are two legal documents that people use to designate how their money and property is to be distributed upon death. When spouses prepare these documents, they often appoint each other as the personal representative and beneficiary. After your divorce, you should consult with a lawyer to create a new will or trust to change your executor and beneficiaries.
- Guardian. If you have minor children, you probably appointed a guardian in your will to take care of them if you die. You should review this and make needed changes, for example, if your ex-spouse’s brother is the guardian. It is always a good idea to appoint a backup guardian as well.
- Power of attorney. A financial power of attorney allows another person to handle your financial matters if you are unable to do so yourself. If your spouse is listed as your agent, you will want a new one drafted that lists a new person and an alternate.
- Medical power of attorney. In your medical power of attorney, you appoint someone to make your medical decisions if you are no longer competent to make these decisions. This will also most likely need to be changed now that you are no longer married.
- HIPAA authorization. A HIPAA authorization allows you to give another person access to your medical records. If you designated your spouse as this person, you should change this document now.
Have you taken care of these important matters? Our experienced estate planning attorneys are here to discuss your situation and to prepare the legal documents to meet your specific needs. Fill out our convenient form on our website to schedule your free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.