Estate planning tasks after a divorce

Divorce changes a lot of things about your life, but it also changes things about your death. Your former end-of-life documents no doubt included your spouse, so you will need to update your estate plans to accommodate the changes in your life. 

Forbes explains that one of the first things you need to do when you file for divorce is to start making changes to your estate plan. Then, once you finalize your divorce, you will want to go back and review your estate plan again for additional changes you need to make. 

Property division 

The process of property division in a divorce will likely result in the loss of some of your personal property and other assets. You will want to be sure these changes reflect in your estate plan. If, for example, you left your son your classic car, but in the divorce, that car went to your spouse, then you need to fix that in your estate plan. Make sure to review everything to look for such changes and adjust as needed to reflect your current situation. 


You want to make sure you change all documents that are part of your estate plan. The chances are that you listed your spouse on many of these documents. You will need to completely update them to remove him or her from life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets. 

Another good example that people often overlook is your health care proxy and power of attorney. You do not want to leave your ex-spouse in charge of your health care or decision making. 


If you have minor children, you may want to adjust guardianship plans. It is likely that you and your spouse chose the guardian you currently have in your paperwork. If you were not happy with that choice, then you can change it now. However, keep in mind that the other parent will automatically assume guardianship of your children if you die. 

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