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How to update your estate plan after a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

If you are ready to file for divorce, it may seem like you have a million things to do and think about. One item that should be on that list is updating your estate plan. 

While the idea of having to deal with more legal matters and documents may be unpleasant, you should not put off making certain changes. If you do, your estate plan may not reflect your post-divorce wishes if something were to happen to you. 

What do you need to change?

Arizona law makes things easier than in other states. For example, the law automatically revokes spousal fiduciary responsibilities and inheritances after your divorce. 

While this is true, you need to ensure that you replace your ex-spouse’s name with someone else. If you fail to do this, the court will appoint someone based on the information available – and the court’s call may not be to your liking.

With that in mind, there are some things you must update. For example, if your spouse (the one you are divorcing) has a POA (power of attorney) for your healthcare, you probably want to change that. The same applies to an ex-spouse you have named as the executor of your estate or trustee. Be sure to put someone else in these slots when you remove your ex-spouse. 

It is also necessary to change your will, which designates who receives your assets. In some situations, having a new will created is best; however, do not make this change until the divorce is final. 

Don’t forget to look at beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, insurance policies and investment accounts, too. These may need to be changed. 

Making the necessary estate plan changes after a divorce

After filing for divorce, you must update your estate plan. Knowing your legal rights and options will help you know what documents must be changed.