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Remember to change your estate plan after divorce

There are a significant number of issues to resolve in divorce. One issue that can be easily overlooked is your estate plan. While not usually front-of-mind in divorce, it is important that people going through divorce discuss their estate plan, particularly if they are one of the many people going through divorce after 50.

Start with beneficiary designations

Many assets have designated beneficiaries. This is true of life insurance policies, retirement plans, bank accounts with transfer on death designations and other assets. The first step in changing your estate plan is to change the beneficiary designation on these many assets.

Revisit your will and trusts

Changing beneficiaries is only the first step. After divorce, it makes sense to take a more comprehensive look at your estate plan. For example, you will need to revoke your current will and create a new one to ensure your property goes to the right people or entities. This may involve leaving specific assets to your grown children, for example.

Take care of your children

If your children are not yet grown, it is vital that you create a guardianship arrangement. This is particularly true if you have sole custody of the children and the other parent is unfit.

If something happens to both of you, it helps to name someone you both can agree on – this can be decided in the divorce, if possible. If you cannot agree on a guardian or one is not named, a court will decide who should care for your children.

Talk to your lawyer about issues

Your divorce and estate plan will be unique to you. There can be a number of issues that need to be resolved in divorce. For answers to your questions and options for addressing those issues, speak to your family law attorney.

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