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Change these estate planning documents after a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2019 | Estate Planning

Divorce is rarely easy. There are a lot of moves you need to make during this time, and there is much more you have to do once the divorce is final in regard to your estate plan

In general, you want to wait to change these documents until after the divorce. Attempting to change estate planning documents during the divorce can get messy quickly. You already have so much on your plate during this time that you are better off no matter what delaying your estate plan. Here are some of the documents to look at when this time comes. 

Retirement accounts and life insurance

If you have a retirement account through your job, then you will likely want to take your former spouse off as a beneficiary. However, most courts do not allow this in the middle of a divorce. These designations have to stay in place as long as you remain legally married. Most of the time, you will get a temporary automatic restraining order placed on such assets, which entails beneficiary designations.

Powers of attorney

You and your spouse most likely designated each other as power of attorney at some point. This designation allows you to make financial or medical decisions on behalf of your spouse in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. You may not want this person to have this power after a divorce. You need to revoke this power of attorney and assign it to someone else because you still may need that power if you become incapacitated while still single. 

Your trust

You need to amend your revocable trust shortly after the divorce. This can become difficult if you share children with your soon-to-be-ex. You may have designated your former spouse to oversee money for your child in the event of your death. If you do not want your ex to control your money in that way, then you need to find an alternative.