If you are contemplating divorce or are separated or recently divorced, life has not gone as planned. You are likely stressed and feeling overwhelmed. In a way, divorce means starting over. You are now likely making decisions yourself, wondering about your own retirement, and concerned about what life will bring next.
Because of all of these changes, you need to update your estate planning. At the very least you will need to consult a qualified estate planning attorney to reevaluate your goals and financial position.
Consider the following:
- Who do you want to name as guardians for your minor children?
- Who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not able to make those decisions yourself?
- Who will pay your bills and manage your finances if you are not able to handle these tasks yourself?
- You do you want to leave your assets to after your death?
- Do you need to provide for a beloved pet?
- How will the change in income change your lifestyle, retirement, and goals?
- Has your need for life insurance and disability insurance changed?
- Have you purchased a new home?
- Have you moved?
- How have your estate planning goals changed?
Here’s your basic estate planning “to do” list:
- Schedule an appointment with a qualified estate planning attorney to analyze your needs and to update your estate planning documents
- Update beneficiary designations for your insurance policies, retirement plans, and annuities
- Establish new bank accounts and credit cards
- Analyze your insurance needs: car, homeowners, renters, umbrella, life, and disability insurances
- Change deed on house, title on car and other motor vehicles, and investment and bank accounts pursuant to your divorce agreement
- Take a hard look at your retirement needs
If you have questions or concerns about how divorce affects your estate planning or you are recently divorced, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.