The world after a divorce is full of questions. Some are common, such as “how will I handle having less money?” or “how are my kids going to handle this?”, but there are also some incredibly important questions that people often forget to ask.
One of the first things that you should update post-divorce is your estate planning. As your familial and financial situations have completely changed, so will your estate planning need to change.
Who is the executor of your estate? Who do you have set as beneficiaries? Who is going to care for your children should you die while they are minors? All of those were answered in your original estate, but those answers have likely changed since the divorce.
While many things in your life have likely changed due to a divorce (even if it is pending), one thing that will not change at all is that your children will need to be protected no matter what.
You will need to sit down with someone to go over your plans and make sure that they are updated to take into account your new situation. Wills, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and various other documents will all need to be updated.
If you do not update these documents, it can cause rather significant legal issues down the line for your loved ones. In addition, if you don’t change your beneficiary designations, your ex-spouse could stand to inherit most of your estate. While some couples split amicably enough to where that would not be a problem, the reality is that divorces happen for a reason, and leaving finances in the hands of an ex is quite often the last thing any recent divorcee wants to do.
It is understandable if there are more pressing current matters, but do NOT forget to update your estate. Plain and simple, it is in the best interest of your children.