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Estate planning after divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2018 | Estate Planning

Every year, couples across the Lake Charles area let out a deep sigh of relief as they finalize their divorces and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, many forget one last thing when wrapping up the loose ends of their old married lives — their wills. Anyone who has experienced a major life change should revisit the estate planning process and make important updates as needed. 

End-of-life decisions are integral to personal dignity, so many people choose to create living wills that outline their wishes. These are typically accompanied by health care powers of attorney, which gives someone else the ability to make those decisions on their behalf. If an ex-spouse is listed as the health care proxy, a divorce will not cancel their legal right to make medical decisions, so an updated power of attorney is essential after divorce. 

Although in some cases it makes sense to leave assets to an ex-spouse, most people prefer to redirect their important assets and account benefits to different family members. Updating wills to reflect this is important, as is naming your chosen beneficiaries on any official account documents. It is important to check all relevant accounts, including retirement funds and life insurance policies. 

Making a clean break from an unhappy marriage is not always easy. Still, people in Lake Charles can take conscious steps in that direction. By revisiting estate planning during or soon after divorce, individuals can ensure that their assets, estate and end-of-life care will be handled in a manner that reflects their personal wishes.