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How will divorce affect my estate plan?

Divorce causes a lot of changes in a person’s life. This is especially true when it comes to estate plans, which many people neglect after their divorce has been finalized. Not updating your estate plan will cause major issues and may even result in probate court if you fail to remove your ex-spouse as an heir. Forbes explains what changes should be made to estate planning documents after a divorce so you can rest assured it continues to meet your wishes. 

Review beneficiary designations

Beneficiary designations stipulate who should receive the proceeds of retirement accounts and life insurance policies. These are usually filled out when the policy becomes active, which means they can become obsolete over time. Additionally, beneficiary designations override information contained within wills and trusts. This may lead to serious issues if a former spouse is listed as a beneficiary.

Check your power of attorney

A power of attorney can assume control of your finances in the event you become incapacitated by illness or injury at some point in your life. While you can name a friend, family member, or even a professional advisor to oversee your assets, many people choose a spouse to fulfill the duty. After a divorce, make sure your power of attorney continues to meet your needs. 

Look over your healthcare proxy

Much like a power of attorney, a healthcare proxy assumes responsibility for medical decisions when you’re unable. While you may be comfortable with an ex-spouse making these decisions, most people prefer to choose another person after a divorce takes place. Remember, you can choose a relative or trusted friend to act as your healthcare proxy. What’s most important is that the person is willing and able to fulfill your wishes.