Estate Planning Tip #1: 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.

Estate Planning Tip #2: Update life insurance and retirement beneficiaries.

Actor Dennis Hopper was in the middle of a highly contentious divorce when he died. Guess what… His ex wife received the proceeds because he didn’t change his life insurance policy beneficiaries. Be sure to name new beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts so your ex doesn’t inherit your assets.

Estate Planning Tip #3: Immediately update your will.

Going through a divorce is difficult, and updating your will may not be the first thing that comes to mind during the separation. But updating your will is extremely important. Having your assets go to your ex can tie up your estate for years to come… and can be like adding insult to injury.

Estate Planning Tip #4: Update your Durable Power of Attorney.

You will need to update your durable power of attorney for health care as well as your living will if you do not want your ex making decisions about your health care. This also applies to any other advance directives that name your ex as a decision maker.

Estate Planning Tip #5: Re-consider who you’ve chosen as 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.

If you’d like to learn more about estate planning and asset protection, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.