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Estate planning after a divorce

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging and stressful times in life. The marriage you've worked so hard to build is no longer working. You and your spouse might be fighting constantly. You might no longer love each other. Maybe you only stayed together until your children reached adulthood. Whatever the reason for the divorce, you need to know how to make changes to your estate plan once the divorce is finalized.

The most important thing you can do after the divorce is to have the old will naming both you and your former spouse revoked. You can then have a family law attorney write a brand-new will for you, naming only you and leaving your assets to the people of your choosing.

The next step is to have a new power of attorney chosen. The previous one was likely your former spouse. You need to change this as soon as possible in the event that you become incapacitated to the point where you cannot make financial or medical decisions on your own.

Check the beneficiaries named on your life insurance. Don't rely on the new will to handle this. You will need to physically change the beneficiaries listed on your life insurance policies. It's best to name your children, especially if they are adults, as the beneficiaries.

Change the titles to any real estate, vehicles or other assets to only your name. Go through all of your documents with a magnifying glass to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Estate planning after divorce is vital to protecting your assets and your dependents, especially if your former spouse winds up getting married again. Make sure you have all of your ducks in a row, and you speak with an experienced family law attorney about your situation.

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