Should you review your estate plan after getting a divorce?

As most people will tell you, going through a divorce gives you a lot of things to think about. How will we divide our assets? Who will get the family home? Will one of us have sole custody or will we share custody of the children? Should I ask for alimony?

Questions like this are common and are typically the first things that most people think about when beginning the process of dissolving their marriage. But there is another question that many people forget to ask during their divorce that many family law experts will say should be top priority for anyone who is ending their marriage.

The question is the one we pose in this week’s post title: should you review your estate plan after getting a divorce? And the answer is yes, absolutely!

As you may already know, an estate plan is a legal document that relays your final wishes to your family and loved ones, including what you would like done with your remains and who you would like to leave your belongings to. More importantly though, it can also include the names of beneficiaries to other assets and financial accounts — assets you may want to distribute differently as time goes by.

If you’re like many people, you may have started the estate planning process when you got married, giving your spouse power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated or die and naming them as your beneficiary to your bank accounts, life insurance policies and other financial assets. But things can change when you get a divorce. You may no longer want your ex-spouse collecting these funds or receiving a portion of your belongings after you pass away.

That’s why it’s important to review your estate plan after — or even during — the divorce process and make the necessary changes while you still can. This could be as simple as removing your ex-spouse from the list of beneficiaries on your accounts to more complicated actions such as revoking and rewriting your will. Doing this though will make sure that your end-of-life wishes are being followed exactly how you want, especially if your wishes changed because of your divorce.