Estate planning is a continuous process that evolves as your life progresses. Changes in your life that may necessitate an update to your estate plan include a shift in your assets, a change in your family, modifications to tax laws, or simply a refocusing of your goals.
Divorce is a major life change which may require adjustments to your estate plan. Although you may feel drained after consulting with attorneys throughout your divorce, the process of updating an estate plan is comparatively straightforward. Estate planning is also crucial to ensure that you do not inadvertently undo the results secured in the divorce process.
A complete and healthy estate plan may encompass multiple documents that need attention after a divorce. Below is a list of documents that should be carefully reviewed and considered:
- Revocable trust
- Trusts to own or secure support obligations
- Power of attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- Living Will
- Funeral Arrangements
- Life insurance policy beneficiary designations
- Bank and brokerage accounts particularly those that are joint or have a “transfer on death” or “paid on death” designations
- Beneficiary designations for IRAs, 401(k)s, other retirement plans, annuities and health savings accounts
- Real estate deeds
- Titles to vehicles
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order (these are usually handled in conjunction with your divorce)
- If you plan to remarry, you may want to consider a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement