Here are some things you should think about.
Do you have children?
- Think about updating your Will to include a Trust.
- Name a conservator.
- Name a trustee
Make arrangements with your attorney to have these papers drawn up prior to the completion of the divorce process. This is not something you want to put off and risk forgetting.
If you have a will or living trust, your spouse may be the executor/trustee and may also be the sole or primary beneficiary of your estate. This is something to check on. Incidentally, many states abide by an elective share statute, meaning that a spouse (whether estranged or married) is automatically entitled to a percentage of your estate.
Does your spouse have a Durable Power of Attorney?
- Think about revoking it so that it cannot be misused.
There have been instances where a Durable Power of Attorney has been used to take out loans in the name of a spouse or to transfer a spouse’s assets to the other party.
Do you have Joint Property?
- What about qualified retirement plans, like a 401(k) or a 403(b)?
o Consider a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order). This is a court order that divides pension rights between divorcing spouses. It can also order alimony or child support payments to be collected from any corporate employee benefit plan. Similar documents can be used with regard to IRAs and civil service pension plans.
o You may want to change your beneficiaries or reallocate assets inside the plan.
- See that titles and deeds are appropriately transferred.
o Cars, boats, campers, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
o Homes, rental property, vacation cabins, and other real property types.
- Don’t forget bank accounts and credit cards.
o Change joint accounts to individual accounts.
o Remove your name from your spouse’s accounts.
How is your credit?
- Pull your credit report.
o Check all accounts to assure their validity.
o Contact creditors to cancel or close accounts, or to change contact information or remove your spouse’s name.
Do you have life insurance policies?
- Change the primary beneficiary to a trust or another individual.
- You may want to purchase more coverage if it is needed.
A CDFA® professional can guide you through the upcoming financial changes and issues.
They will go step by step with you, and help you follow through so that what needs to take place actually happens. Here is a link to find Certified Divorce Professionals in your area: A CDFA Professional Near Me .