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The impact of divorce on your estate plan

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Divorce significantly alters your life, including your financial and estate planning needs. As you navigate this challenging time, it’s important to understand how divorce impacts your estate plan and what steps you should take to ensure it reflects your new circumstances.

Reassess your will and insurance policies

Most people name their spouse as the primary beneficiary and executor. After a divorce, you likely want to change this. Otherwise, your ex-spouse will inherit your assets or manage your estate.

Beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts also need updates. These assets transfer based on beneficiary designations, not your will. Updating your estate plan documents alone isn’t enough.

Power of attorney and healthcare directives

Your spouse probably has the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf under these documents in Oregon. Post-divorce, you will want to appoint someone else to these roles. This ensures that someone aligned with your current wishes has decision-making power.

Review trusts and titles

If you established trusts that include your spouse, you might need to modify them. Trusts can be complex, and how you handle changes depends on the type of trust and its terms. You should also address any joint accounts and property titles. Ensure you remove your ex-spouse’s name from these assets to avoid unintentionally leaving them property.

Divorce means you must thoroughly update your estate plan to protect your assets and ensure they go to the people you choose. Be sure that your plans align with your changed relationship status.