If you are newly divorced, you’re probably overwhelmed with all of the changes going on in your life.You should seriously consider stepping back, taking a deep breath and began developing a plan to secure your future. One of the basic steps in moving forward after this major event in your life is updating your estate plan.
Here are five steps you can take right now to make sure your new life is on the right track:
- Update your will and trust: You must change the beneficiary on your will and trust documents if you don’t want your ex-spouse receiving your assets. You should also remove your former spouse from serving as executor of your will or as the trustee of your children’s inheritance;
- Update your life insurance and retirement beneficiaries: You must name new beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts, including your IRA, so that your ex-spouse doesn’t inherit your assets;
- Check your credit report: During a divorce, especially a contentious one, bills are often left unpaid. As a result, your credit score may take a hit. Sometimes the credit agencies make mistakes, especially if you’ve changed your last name or address. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to review your credit score soon after your divorce. You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit agencies; and
- Draft or update your power of attorney: You should appoint someone to make both health care and financial decisions for you if you can’t due to illness or injury. If you previously had a power of attorney, update it to remove your former spouse.
Taking these steps will bring your estate plan up to date and protect both you and your assets as you begin your new life. If you need legal counsel, we invite you to contact the attorneys at BoltNagi PC’s Corporate, Tax and Estate Planning Practice Group to get you on track.