Divorce is a time of personal upheaval. You will likely find yourself living in a new location and splitting up everything with your ex, from time with your children to your shared social network.
After a divorce, you may be eager for your life to go back to some degree of normalcy, but it’s important that your desire to put the divorce behind you doesn’t lead to you overlooking secondary steps that are necessary to protect yourself after divorce.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s important that you look into updating your estate plan to reflect your changed personal circumstances.
Remove your ex as a beneficiary and take legal control from them
When people engage in estate planning, they often name their spouse in critical documents. Whether you gave your spouse power of attorney authority to access business accounts if you wind up incapacitated or named them as trustee for your personal trust, you are going to want to go through and update those documents.
Leaving assets to those with whom you are on better terms and empowering those that you can trust to act in your best interests when you can’t make your own decisions is of the utmost importance.
Takes steps to protect your children’s inheritance
If there is one silver lining to getting a divorce, it is the drastically reduced likelihood of you and the other parent of your children dying simultaneously. As a married couple, you could have easily both perished in the car crash on date night. Now, as divorced parents, the chances are lower for both of you experiencing the same accident.
That means that your children will have a parent available to protect them if something happens to you. Unfortunately, that also means that anything you want your children to inherit will be under the control of your ex unless you take action now.
Creating a trust is a common tactic after divorce in order to shield assets from use or even intentional dissipation by a former spouse. You can prevent your ex from using the inheritance at all or limit their access to situations involving educational or medical expenses for your children.
Divorce is an ideal opportunity to update your estate plan and expand it to ensure that you have all of the necessary protections in place for you and the people you love.