Update Your Estate Plan After a Divorce

Update Your Estate Plan After a Divorce

October 11, 2018

There are going to be a lot of changes in your life to navigate as you go through the divorce process. It’s understandable if estate planning is the last thing on your mind during this time, but it is critical that you update your estate plans as soon as the divorce is finalized so you can make sure your plans reflect your current life situation.

With this in mind, here are several steps you should take to update your estate plan after a divorce with the assistance of an attorney for wills and trusts in Miami, FL.

Create an entirely new will

Rather than trying to modify an existing will with a series of addendums and codicils, you should revoke that will and start from scratch. This will ensure that all of the decisions you make will actually reflect your current life situation, and that you won’t accidentally leave anything in the will that’s outdated now that you’re divorced.

If you already had a will, you know the process—choose the property you wish to leave behind to your loved ones, and who you want to receive individual pieces of property. Choose an executor for your estate who will be able to manage your affairs after your passing. Name a guardian for any minor children you have in the event that both you and the other parent both pass or are unavailable. If you have any reason to believe the other parent should not have custody of the children, make sure to put those reasons down in writing and attach it to your will.

Update your beneficiary designations

If you have any assets for which you name a beneficiary, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, payable on death bank accounts or certain types of brokerage accounts, you should revisit your beneficiary designations and make sure you transfer beneficiaries to another person other than your ex-spouse. After all, now that you are divorced, it is almost certain you do not want your ex to take control of these assets and benefit from their value upon your death. Instead, name a child or other close relative or friend.

Establish new powers of attorney

Most people who establish durable, financial or healthcare powers of attorney grant their spouse those powers, as it’s simply the easiest and most sensible route to take. However, after your divorce, it’s a sure bet you aren’t going to want your ex to have control over your finances or your healthcare if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle them yourself. Therefore, you should give these powers to another trusted relative or friend who you believe will act according to your wishes and in your best interest.

These are just a few of the estate planning steps you’re going to want to take after you get a divorce. Contact the offices of Ruben J. Padron, PA to speak with an attorney for wills and trusts in Miami, FL and make sure all your documents are properly updated.

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