Divorce is rarely easy. In fact, separating from someone you once loved (and often still care about) can be one of the hardest and most devastating events that you can experience in life.
While you may need to grieve and to heal from the trauma, you also need to protect yourself and your assets. This means that along with your pain and suffering, you have to take care of your will, and other legal planning so that you can get your life back on track. Even if you don’t feel like it, you have to do it and we’re here to help.
Here are five steps to take after your divorce is finalized:
1. Review your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your legal team. This will help you determine what your ex-spouse is and isn’t entitled to.
2. Update your will or trust. In most instances, you may no longer want your ex to be the executor of your will so make sure that you remove them.
You should also figure out if you want to leave your ex anything upon your death in your will or trust. If you have a trust, you will need to figure out if you want them to manage it after you’re deceased. Keep in mind that you aren’t typically allowed to disinherit an ex-spouse altogether, but may want to only leave what they are entitled to receive under state law. Additionally, if you have children and a court determines your spouse to be unfit, you should remove him as the guardian of your kids and list an alternative guardian to ensure that your children are protected.
3. Change your power of attorney to someone other than your ex-spouse. A power of attorney is a legal document that enables an authorized person to handle your everyday affairs. With this authorization, they can handle business and financial transactions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
4. Choose someone besides your ex-spouse to oversee important health care decisions. This will enable the authorized person to make important medical decisions if you’re unable to make such decisions for yourself.
5. Change the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, pensions, life insurance, etc.
Divorces aren’t easy and things can get very complicated when you try to figure it all out on your own. With this in mind, it is always better to hire a competent attorney. At Ibekwe Law, PLLC, we can help you understand the probate process and how it is affected by divorce.