The problem with many people’s estate plans is that they are out of date. The best way to ensure your estate plan is current is to read through it once a year to check. The more often you review it and update it as needed, the less likely you or your family discover it does not serve its purpose when called to use it.
Some circumstances require you to make changes, regardless of when you last reviewed your plan.
Divorce requires a thorough overhaul of your estate plan
Here are some things to check when you divorce:
Beneficiary designations: Any asset with one of these will not pass through probate. When you die, the manager of that asset will transfer it to the person you named as the beneficiary in the document. These typically include retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and bank accounts. Added together, they can be worth a lot of money.
Powers of attorney: These come into play if illness or injury strikes, leaving you incapable of doing things such as signing a check or legal document. They allow someone you trust to do so on your behalf. They also make things simpler for your family when you die, allowing them to access funds or sign documents necessary to keep things running without delay.
The other reason reviewing your estate plan is so crucial after a divorce is that you will likely lose some of your assets in a divorce.
Getting help to review your estate plan and ensure it reflects your current situation can save you and your family problems in the future.