While you may have had a solid estate plan in place prior to your divorce, the circumstances surrounding your ending marriage may force changes to your long-term plan. Refiguring your plan to accommodate your needs will take time and patience.
Proactive planning can help you prepare for the future regardless of your current situation. Taking control of your goals can aid in your effort to rebuild an estate plan that will provide you with peace of mind.
Perhaps the most obvious change to make involves your beneficiaries. Chances are, prior to your divorce, you named your spouse as the sole beneficiary on several retirement-related accounts. These may have included bank accounts, investment properties, your home, your vehicles and any employer-sponsored retirement benefits. According to U.S. News, divorce is one of the most common reasons you may need to change or update your estate plan.
Neglecting to update your beneficiary designations may give your former spouse the legal right to acquire your assets if you pass away. To prevent this from happening, comb through any wills, trusts and other asset titles to remove your ex’s name.
Depending on the nature of your relationship, you and your ex may have shared different sentiments about the future. As such, you may feel the need to change aspects of your estate plan to make it more applicable to your future goals and end-of-life wishes.
Adding context to your plan can reduce the risks of estate disputes from thwarting your legacy. Divorce does not have to derail your estate plan. With a thoughtful assessment of its contents, you can modify and update as needed to transform your existing plan into something more personal.