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Estate Plan After a Divorce

Divorce can be challenging and tumultuous for everyone involved, including children, family, friends, and pets. It can be when all aspects of life are upended, including finances and your estate plan. While we never plan for divorce, when it happens, it is essential to know what to do about your estate plan.

1. Update Your Will

During a divorce, you must update your will to remove your former spouse's name and revoke any relevant provisions. If you don't have a choice, now's the time to create one. Your estate includes everything you own, not just financial assets, which is an important step. A will can help ensure your assets go to those you want and that your children are cared for according to your wishes.

2. Designate New Beneficiaries

When you signed up for a life insurance policy or a 401(k) plan, you probably named your spouse your primary beneficiary. After a divorce, changing the beneficiary designation to someone else is crucial. You also want to do this for your IRA accounts, annuities, and any other insurance policies you may have. Do not assume that your divorce decree will automatically remove your ex-spouse from these designations.

3. Create a Trust

If you have minor children or adult children with special needs, a trust is an excellent option to consider. A trust can ensure that your children receive support as you intend it. Suppose you have concerns about your former spouse's ability to manage money or provide adequate support. In that case, you may want to create a trust to protect your children's inheritance from being wasted or misused.

4. Review Power of Attorney and Health Care Documents

Reviewing and revising your power of attorney and health care documents as you would like them to be after the divorce is essential. These documents authorize someone to decide for you about your finances and healthcare if you cannot. After a divorce, you probably do not want your ex-spouse in power of attorney or health care proxy. You may want to choose somebody like a parent, sibling, or close friend who will make decisions with your best interests in mind.

Divorce Attorneys in San Bernardino County

If you need assistance updating your estate plan after a divorce, the Law Office of Michael R. Young is here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys understand the complexities and can guide you. Contact us today at (909) 315-4588 to schedule a consultation and take the necessary steps to protect your assets and secure a stable future.