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Your Estate Plan Post Divorce

Divorce is not an easy thing to do or go through, and we know how many decisions there are to make. However an important task you should remember is to address you estate plan. It could be the plan deep in your filing cabinet that you and your current spouse executed 10 years ago or the one you never got around to signing. Nevertheless you should definitely revisit it as soon as possible.


  • Find what you can and cannot alter before the divorce is final

In most states, you will not be able to make major changes. Changes to things such as the beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans and pensions during the divorce. The filing of a complaint for divorce places an automatic restraining order on your assets.

  • Update your health care

If your ex-spouse is listed in as your substitute decision maker, you should definitely remove/change that designated person.

  • Update your will

Updating your will should also be carried out, if you had decided to leave anything in your ex-spouses name. Allowing your ex-spouse to take charge of any of your estate may not be in your best interest post divorce. You most likely will not be able to prevent your current spouse from being the guardian of your children if you pass away. However, you can certainly name an alternate guardian.

  • Look at your prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement

If you have a prenuptial agreement, your divorce lawyer hopefully reviewed it in light of your divorce. Make sure you also look at this document to see what your spouse is entitled to in the event of your death. Your new estate plan should be consistent with the terms of your prenuptial agreement.

  • Revisit the plan after the divorce is finalised

Estate planning during divorce is often a temporary measure. Once the divorce is finalized, you must revisit your estate plan and see what needs to be updated in light of the divorce.

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