Protecting yourself and your assets is critical if you’re going through a divorce. In addition to making decisions about property division, custody, visitation arrangements, and spousal maintenance, it’s important that you update your estate plan to ensure that the future you face without your spouse is secure.

Here are a few estate planning updates you should address as soon as possible.

Update Your Will

In the state of Minnesota, should you die before your divorce is finalized, your estranged spouse may be entitled to a share of your estate. It’s critical at this time that you revoke your existing will and prepare a new one that reflects your wishes regarding estate executor, guardianship of minor children, and beneficiary and distribution of assets.

Change Beneficiary Designations

If your spouse is listed as beneficiary on assets such as bank accounts, stocks, IRAs, 401(k)s, or life insurance policies, it’s important to designate a new beneficiary. Review these accounts with your insurance agent, financial advisor, human resources representative (should you have employee benefits payable upon death) and estate planning attorney.

Choose a New Power of Attorney

Should you become incapacitated and require someone else to make decisions for you, the last person you’ll probably want to entrust with this responsibility is your ex-spouse. Choose a new POA and consult your attorney to draft new documents that allow your designee to make decisions for you regarding medical treatments and money matters, as well as access to your financial records and accounts.

Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney to Discuss Additional Changes

Whether you’re separated, have already filed for divorce, or have received your final divorce decree, you should talk to an estate planning attorney today. In addition to the changes listed above, you may want to discuss:

  • Health care proxy
  • Living will
  • Disinheriting your spouse
  • Prenuptial/Post-nuptial agreements
  • Trust accounts

Don’t Delay on Your Estate Plan. Call for Help Today.

Fifty-five percent of Americans die each year without a will or estate plan. While divorce is difficult because your marriage is ending, it can also be a time for a new beginning. Getting your affairs in order with a new or updated estate plan is an ideal place to start. Call White & Associates at 763-241-0477 today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.

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