Tip #1: Update your will immediately.
This may not be top-of-mind, but updating your will is extremely important if you are going through a divorce. Having your assets go to your ex can be like adding insult to injury…and can tie up your estate for years to come.
Tip #2: Update your life insurance policy and retirement beneficiaries.
Actor Dennis Hopper was in the middle of a highly contentious divorce when he died. Since he didn’t change his life insurance policy beneficiaries, his ex received the proceeds. Be sure to name new beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts so your ex doesn’t inherit your assets.
Tip #3: Do not wait until the divorce is final.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wait until your divorce is final to update your estate planning documents. If your divorce is likely to drag on for months or even years, you can still protect your assets from your ex by updating your estate plan.
Tip #4: Revisit your choice of executor and trustee.
While your ex may become the legal guardian of any minor children if you die, he or she should not necessarily be named as executor of your will or the trustee of your children’s inheritance.
Tip #5: Update your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
If you do not want your ex making decisions about your health care, you should update your durable power of attorney for health care as well as your living will. This also applies to any other advance directives that name your ex as a decision maker.