Divorce marks not only an emotional shift but also a change in your financial landscape. It requires you to take a fresh look at your estate planning strategy. Here are essential estate planning tips that every divorced woman should consider.
Take Stock of Your Assets
Having a clear picture of your assets is vital for efficient estate planning. Create an inventory of all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and valuable personal property.
Revisit Your Will
After divorce, it is necessary to revisit and revise your will if you are using a will as your estate plan centerpiece. If your ex-spouse is named as a beneficiary or executor in your current will, consider making changes to reflect your current wishes and situation.
Restructure Your Trust
Trusts, like wills, are not automatically modified post-divorce. Review your trust agreement if you have a trust, and consider creating one if you don’t. Depending on your situation, you may want to establish a trust for a number of reasons, and you can alternately modify an existing one to ensure they align with your new financial position.
Rethink Power of Attorney Designation
In most cases, spouses serve as each other’s attorney-in-fact in durable powers of attorney for property to account for possible incapacity. Post-divorce, consider appointing someone else you trust, like a close friend or adult child, to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Modify Your Beneficiaries
Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets often have named beneficiaries. Make sure to update these beneficiary designations, removing your ex-spouse if desired.
Guardianship of Minor Children
If you have underage children, their guardianship is of utmost concern. Appoint a guardian who can take care of your children if the unthinkable happens and their other parent cannot assume the responsibility. Setting up a trust for them can ensure their financial well-being, and life insurance can be a source of funding.
Reevaluate Your Estate Tax Planning
Changes in your marital status and finances can impact your estate tax profile one way or another is you are in possession of considerable wealth. Consult with an estate planning attorney to understand and mitigate potential tax implications.
Assign a New Healthcare Proxy
If your ex-spouse is currently your healthcare proxy, you might want to choose someone else to make medical decisions for you in the event of your incapacity.
Update Your Living Will
If your former spouse is named in your existing living will, you might want to make changes. A living will outlines your wishes for life support utilization if you become too ill to communicate. You can also include your comfort care medication and organ donation choices if you choose to do so.
Consult With a Professional
Estate planning can be intricate. It’s wise to consult with a seasoned estate planning attorney to ensure your plan aligns with your goals and the current laws.
In conclusion, the aftermath of a divorce offers an opportunity to reassess your assets and financial future. By revisiting your estate plan, you not only secure your financial well-being but also provide a safety net for your loved ones.
It’s not merely a task to be ticked off your to-do list; it’s a critical step towards financial self-sufficiency and reassurance.
Let’s Get Started!
We are here to help if you are ready to work with a Westport or Glastonbury, Connecticut estate planning lawyer to develop a plan. And if you have an existing plan that needs to be revised because of divorce or for any other reason, we can work with you to make the necessary updates.
Going forward, we will be available to provide reviews on an ongoing basis. Plus, you can arrange for us to assist your family during the estate administration process if they have any questions.
You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 860-548-1000.
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