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Should you update your estate plan after divorce?

A divorce is a major life change. With all the things you have to handle during a divorce, it may seem like working on your estate plan should have to wait. However, the reality is that adjusting your estate plan and updating it is necessary when you go through a divorce.

Your estate plan has many important documents. One of those important documents is your will. In your will, you dictate what you'd like to see after your death. Prior to your divorce, you may have referenced your ex-spouse or stepchildren. Following your divorce, there may be people that you don't want to include as your beneficiaries or that you don't want to be involved in your care if you fall ill.

Updating your estate plan is vital to protecting yourself after divorce for other reasons, too. The way you distribute your assets matters, and if you are no longer married, you don't want assets to get transferred to your ex-spouse. You also don't want assets that you'd rather have go to your children or direct relatives to be transferred to people you previously named in your ex-spouse's family. Updating your estate plan gives you the opportunity to change the beneficiaries you've named and to protect your assets moving forward.

It is normal to adjust and review your estate plan yearly and after all major life events. You can include guardianship information for your children in this plan as well so that you know what will happen to them if you pass away suddenly. These are just a few things to think about regarding the reasoning for changing your estate plan after divorce.

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