When you’re going through a divorce, it’s only natural to focus on the immediate concerns – like where you plan to live and what part of the marital property is actually yours. Once the dust settles, however, you will probably need to update your estate plans as soon as possible.
Your divorce can have a significant effect on your assets, your beneficiaries and your end-of-life plans. Here are the things you need to examine.
Your beneficiary designations
One of the biggest parts of estate planning is deciding how your assets will be redistributed when you die. You need to check your will as well as your insurance policies, financial accounts and investments to see if your beneficiary designations need to be changed to better reflect your current relationships. Even though Oregon law revokes provisions in a will that favor a former spouse, you need to make sure that your alternate beneficiaries are properly named.
Your personal representative
If you were like most married people, you named your spouse as the personal representative of your estate. Since that designation will no longer be valid, you need to carefully select someone else to fill the rule. Otherwise, the state may do it for you – and that could cause complications for your beneficiaries.
Your powers of attorney
If you ever become incapacitated prior to your death, who will take charge of your financial affairs? Who will talk with your doctors and make any critical decisions about your medical care? Your powers of attorney designations should be given to people who are actively involved in your life – not your ex-spouse.
Updating an estate plan isn’t hard. It’s also not something that you want to keep putting off. If you’re recently divorced, it may be time to get out your documents and seek additional legal guidance.