During and after a divorce, there are many things you must consider. Initially, your concerns lie in the formalities of the actual proceedings, such as dividing assets and debts and constructing a parenting plan. Once the dust settles, you can begin getting other parts of your life in order.
One of the things you may have neglected to take care of during the divorce proceedings is retooling your will and life insurance. Why is it crucial to take care of these estate documents soon after divorce?
1. Change of beneficiary
When married, your beneficiary for your life insurance and your will was most likely your spouse. After divorce, you are most likely going to want to change the designation. In some instances, people choose to name their children as equal beneficiaries. Alternatively, you may choose to designate someone to hold the money in trust for the children until they reach a certain age (typically 25).
2. Change of executor
Your will spells out who is responsible for carrying out your wishes after death. After divorce, you may want to reconsider who is in charge of executing your directives. The executor or executrix of your will was probably your spouse except in the case of simultaneous death. You may have also left your spouse the entire estate upon your death. Once divorced, you will want to figure out who should be in charge of following your final wishes.
3. Change of property and assets
After your marriage ends, there is a good chance you did not come out of it with all the property and assets set forth in your will. Once the dust settles, take a good look at what you now have and figure out what your property division looks like. Make appropriate changes to protect your next of kin and right of ownership after your death.
Divorce changes every facet of your life, and your estate planning documents should not fall through the cracks. Keep your wishes current so your beneficiaries get exactly what you want them to get.