A Colorado divorce means you should revisit your estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2018 | Divorce, Estate Planning

Divorce often results in radical changes in many different areas of your life. The average person can expect their living situation to change, as well as their financial situation. Those are just the most common issues, but there are many other transitions and changes that often take place during and immediately after a divorce in Colorado.

With so much going on, people often overlook important considerations that are not officially part of the divorce process. Your estate plan is a perfect example. Far too many people simply overlook adjusting their estate plan during a divorce. They are so focused on the end of their marriage that they overlook this critical area where adjustments and changes should occur to reflect their new life situation.

You want to remove your ex as beneficiary in your will and any trust

It is very common for people to allocate specific assets to their spouse upon their death. Even assets that you did not own jointly with your spouse could end up bequeathed to your ex. Chances are good that you likely don’t want your ex to receive any of your valuable possessions.

The good news is that probate courts often consider divorce when looking at a will, but most people would rather avoid probate if possible. Updating your last will and estate plan can minimize the risk of your estate winding up in probate court. You should carefully go over your estate plan and find someone else whom you would like to leave those assets to when you pass on.

You should also carefully review trust documents and insurance policies. Removing your ex as trustee is probably a wise decision. Naming new beneficiaries, whether they are close family members or children, will help to ensure that your assets go where you want them to and that you have created a legacy that reflects your current situation in life.

Don’t forget to update your living will as well

Adjusting your estate plan is more than just removing your ex from a trust or your last will. It should also involve reviewing your living will documents. Perhaps now that you are no longer married, your opinion on certain medical decisions has changed. It may also be possible that you named your ex as the person with authority to handle financial decisions or medical decisions on your behalf. If you are incapacitated, it is very likely that you do not want that authority to rest with your former spouse.

People often overlook these documents, but it is typical to name your spouse as your power of attorney. Obviously, you don’t want your ex making medical decisions on your behalf any more than you want them to benefit from your life insurance policy after you die.