Depending on whether your divorce ended with a messy set of resentments or not, you may be trying to find out all the ways you can eliminate remnants of your ex from your life. Those who can finally breathe a heavy sigh of relief over being officially separated from their former spouse, may be forgetting another set of documents that need attention. When a person writes an estate plan, they often include the names of people closest to them in their life at that time.
If you wrote your estate plan while still with your former spouse, it is likely their name was included. Unless you want your ex spouse to have a part in how your assets are handled, you may want to get that updated with an estate planning lawyer Melbourne, FL trusts as soon as possible.
Here in the article below, we have gone into further detail about estate planning, and how to make sure these documents are edited based on your life currently.
Designate a Different Will Executor
It is common for people to appoint their spouse with the role of will executor, who shall be responsible for handling their assets after passing on. Those who have recently divorced from their former other half, likely do not want him or her to still have such a crucial role in regards to their money, belongings and property.
Create a New Version of Beneficiary List
To update the names of those on your beneficiary list, you may have to create an entirely new document altogether. Then, you can destroy the old version to prevent confusion from arising if both documents were found later. Instead of just eliminating your ex spouse’s name and moving on, you may want to review the entire list. Sadly, in the midst of divorce other relationships may be impacted. For example, perhaps you became really close with your wife’s brother, but now you two have a shaky relationship because of the divorce. It is up to you whether you want to also remove his name, along with other members of your former spouse’s family.
Review Your Accounts and Policies
Estate plans can include things like your home, vehicles, jewelry, art and furniture. In addition to actual items, you may have assets such as 401k, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, bank accounts and more. It may be a good idea to review your accounts and policies too, just in case your former spouse is listed in these documents. You can inquire with the companies or employers associated with these accounts on how update your paperwork.
Having an Uncomfortable Conversation
It is completely up to you whether you want to inform your ex spouse about the changes to your estate plan. Perhaps your former spouse will just assume he or she was removed and shrug it off. But, if you had to remove the name of someone on your former spouse’s side of the family, you may want to simply have that uncomfortable conversation. This may be especially true for those people you chose to perform certain duties in the event of your passing.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Arcadier & Associates for their insight into personal estate planning and divorce.