People generally remember to amend their wills or revocable trusts after a divorce, but there are many other estate planning and financial arrangements you should address that are easily overlooked. These include:
Jointly owned assets. Be sure your former spouse doesn’t retain access to joint assets, such as bank accounts, investments or real estate.
Retirement accounts. Did you designate your former spouse as beneficiary of any IRAs, 401(k) plans or other retirement accounts? If so, amend the beneficiary designations for those accounts.
Life insurance. If your former spouse is the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, you’ll likely want to update the beneficiary designation. Also, consider whether your life insurance needs have changed in light of the divorce.
Powers of attorney. Is your former spouse still named as your representative in any financial or health care powers of attorney or similar documents? In some states, divorce automatically nullifies powers of attorney, but in others you may need to rewrite them.
It’s important to take action quickly after a divorce to avoid inadvertently enriching a former spouse at the expense of your children, new spouse or other family members. Contact us for help with reviewing your estate plan in light of a divorce.