Amidst the emotional turmoil of an Ohio divorce, it is easy to overlook practical matters, such as your estate plan. However, revisiting and revising your estate plan during this time helps ensure that your assets and wishes align with your new circumstances.
When working your way through a divorce, take the following steps with regard to your estate plan.
Update your beneficiaries
When you split from your spouse, you may want to update the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and any payable-on-death or transfer-on-death accounts. Typically, when you set up these accounts, you designate a beneficiary to receive the proceeds when you die. If your former spouse is still your named beneficiary, then he or she may inherit these assets, which might not be in line with your current wishes.
Review your will
A will is the cornerstone of any estate plan and outlines what happens to your assets after your death. However, only about 33% of Americans currently have wills in place. If you count yourself among them, you may find that your priorities with regard to beneficiaries and asset distribution change when you split from your spouse. In this scenario, you may need to review and update your will to reflect these new priorities.
Name a guardian
If you have children, you may wish to designate a guardian for them in the event of your untimely death. This helps ensure that your children wind up in the care of someone you trust.
Reevaluate your power of attorney
A power of attorney grants someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf. If you named your ex-spouse as your agent, you may want to reevaluate this decision. You may wish to designate a new individual to take on this role, especially if you no longer have confidence in your former spouse’s judgment.
While it may prove advantageous to revisit the above-named sections of your estate plan, this is not an exhaustive summary of all areas that may warrant another look.