Estate Planning Tips for the Newly Divorced

While all divorces aren’t as ugly as the War of the Roses, the process of getting divorced can be at the very least, emotionally and financially draining.

Not only are you faced with the notion of being single again, but you’re also forced to wade through a barrage of legal documents that spell out who gets what and who pays whom.

Now, you might already know who gets the house and how your assets will be split-up, but have you thought about all the other ways you and your Ex are linked?

Chances are, your soon-to-be Ex is the beneficiary on your life-insurance policy. Given that he or she is no longer your spouse, you might want to think about naming a different beneficiary instead. Likewise on your investments and bank accounts with Pay on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) clauses as well as your IRAs and 401k accounts.

Remember, these accounts do not have to pass through probate and nothing in your Will affects how the proceeds are distributed. If you don’t change the beneficiary, your Ex will receive the payout instead of your family.

Also, if you are have custody of children under 18, you need to establish a Will or Trust that names your children as the beneficiary and assigns a Trustee other than your Ex. This will ensure than any assets you leave to your children only benefit your children and do not end up in the control of your Ex.