It is recommended that people review and make changes to their estate plan as needed, about every 3-5 years unless something comes up. Getting divorced may be a pivotal time to update your estate plan, as your former spouse’s name is likely on plenty of the documents. Unless you want your ex spouse to potentially have access or be in charge of your estate, doing a thorough review with an estate planning lawyer Roseville, CA trusts as soon as possible may be a good idea.
Power of Attorney for Financials
If you wrote your estate plan while still with your ex spouse, you may have appointed him or her as your financial power of attorney. The person with this role is responsible for handling your finances if you pass away or become incapacitated. If you do not want your former spouse to take on the duties of selling your real estate, managing bank accounts, paying bills or otherwise being in charge of your finances, then someone else should be appointed.
Assigning a New Will Representative
After removing your former spouse as your will representative (executor), you may be wondering who should be next in line. Many people choose someone who they feel can handle such a huge responsibility. Your will executor may not only safeguard the assets of your estate, but pay your outstanding debts, request appraisals, and distribute awards to your beneficiaries as you wished. Consider choosing someone you know that is:
- Attentive to detail
- Has your best interest at heart
- Understands his or her duties
- Knowledge in finances or business (optional)
- Compassionate to others
Updating Beneficiary List
Your beneficiaries are those you who want to have a part of your assets after your passing. People commonly choose their other half, children, immediate family members and even mentors or charitable organizations as beneficiaries. But, the task of updating your beneficiary list may not be as easy as crossing off some names and stamping a new date on the document. You may have to create a fresh, new document entirely from scratch again, then have it officially witnessed and signed. Those who do not write a will may have their estate handled by the government system based on state laws. This fact may motivate plenty of people to establish an estate plan, to help ensure their legacy carries on to the loved ones they prefer.
Naming a Guardian for Children
You may need to name a guardian for any shared children you and your spouse have together, in the event your former spouse passes before you. However, perhaps the situation is that your ex spouse is simply not fit to parent at all. The court system may have to appoint a new guardian aside from your former spouse, if your children are underage in the event of your passing. You can appoint a guardian for your children that is not your spouse, so you can rest assured knowing that your kids would be properly taken care of.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Yee Law Group for their knowledge about estate planning and divorce.