Divorce causes a lot of life changes. One of those changes is revisiting your estate plan. About 46% of adults in America have a will. If you are in the 46% and have gone through a divorce, you should adjust your estate plan as soon as possible. Here are the changes you should make to your estate plan after divorce.

Here's What to Know About Revising Your Estate After Divorce

1. Make a New Will

You should almost immediately revoke your will and draw up a new will. Ideally, you will revoke your old will as soon as possible. You never know what might happen, and until you revoke your old will and draw up a new will, the old document will be in effect. That means if your ex-spouse is listed as your beneficiary, your ex-spouse will collect everything you own if something should happen to you.

Your will controls property distribution, names a guardian for your children, and more. You must make changes to your will to reflect your new wishes. The sooner you act, the better. Many people change their will while going through a divorce instead of waiting until the divorce is final.

2. Change Your Beneficiaries

If you have life insurance through your job or outside of your job, make sure you change your beneficiaries on your life insurance if it is currently your spouse. You must also update the information on your retirement account, stocks, and investment accounts. Don’t assume a divorce will automatically revoke beneficiary designations.

You must name a new beneficiary for each account to ensure that your accounts go to whom you wish upon your death. Your accounts are not protected until you resubmit the necessary paperwork to the governing agency of the specific accounts.

3. Power of Attorney

In your estate plan, you should have powers of attorney for health care and for finances. A power of attorney is a designated person who will oversee your healthcare and finances if you are unable to do it yourself. These documents are an essential part of your estate plan. Most people don’t want their former spouse to make decisions for them after a divorce. However, if you and your spouse remain on good terms, you may still want them to have decision-making power. It is up to you to decide whether you need to change these documents.

4. Change Any Trusts

If you have a trust setup that includes your ex-spouse, you will need to change it. Trusts are often used to protect property and other assets. According to HomeLight, it is common for real estate appraisals to come in under contract value by about 7% to 11% in a typical market. Markets fluctuate greatly; trusts provide an added layer of protection for property to ensure that your decedents have more control.

Change your trust to reflect your new family dynamic after divorcing your spouse. Don’t assume your divorce decree matters when it comes to estate documents. According to NOLO, you should update your estate planning every time there are major life events like moving, a new marriage, and divorce. You should evaluate your estate plan every five years even if there have been no new changes to your status.

Estate planning considerations often fall through the cracks during and after a divorce. Unfortunately, if you don’t make the necessary changes to your estate planning documents, they will be held up in court if ever contested. Connect with an attorney that specializes in estate planning to get the advice you need to ensure your estate plan is in order and accurately reflects your wishes. Don’t delay in making the adjustments. Call today.