Alimony, property division, tax planning… the financial aspects of your divorce can cause undue stress and confusion. Unfortunately, the difficulties are far from over after you sign the final papers. Once you’ve addressed the immediate concerns of separation, it’s time to think long-term. The sooner you adjust your estate plan, the sooner you can enjoy the closure that comes with a truly completed dissolution. Get started with these essential projects:
Revoke Your Will And Start Fresh
A fresh start calls for a new will, free from the demands of your former spouse. Your original will likely left all property to your ex, but now, you may prefer to bequest assets to your children, parents or siblings. Furthermore, it behooves you to name a new executor if your spouse previously held that honor. A few ex-spouses leave the job of executor to one another, but most prefer to name a child or close family member instead.
Sometimes, seemingly small details make the biggest difference. The perfect example: many spouses revoke their wills but never bother to change beneficiary details on their bank or retirement accounts. Thankfully, this task rarely takes more than a few minutes. It requires considerable thought, however, as inherent risks accompany naming minors as beneficiaries or selecting other grown family members in their stead. Consider establishing a trust and naming it as beneficiary, as your trustee can be held liable for incorrect handling of trust assets.
Consider End-of-Life Care
Do you want to leave your ex in charge of end-of-life decisions in the event of incapacitation? If not, it’s time to update your advance health care directive and powers of attorney. Grant this important responsibility to a close friend or family member you can trust to abide by your stated wishes.
Don’t leave your future up to chance. As soon as you choose to divorce, begin to examine your estate planning documents. Seek guidance from a trusted attorney as you make essential decisions regarding your property and end-of-life care.
The law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can help you address all aspects of your divorce. Schedule a consultation today so you can ease the burden of long-term financial planning.