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What You Should Know About Estate Planning After Divorce

Once your divorce is finalized, there will be a lot of changes you need to make in your life to accommodate your new situation. Any time you have a major change in your life, it’s a good time to revisit your estate plan, and a divorce is no exception. Most divorces provide for the fact that your ex-spouse should not benefit from your estate post-divorce, but estate planning documents should be updated after a divorce to make that clear.

Below are just a few things you should know and steps you should take with regard to your estate plan after your divorce is complete:

  • Your estate planning attorney should get a copy: When you receive your divorce decree, it can be helpful to give a copy of it to your estate planning attorney. This can help them better serve you and get an accurate sense of the assets and debts you’re now dealing with.
  • Change power of attorney: Your power of attorney had likely been your spouse, so it’s a good idea to have a trusted friend or relative take the mantle, as you don’t want your former spouse in charge of your financial matters if you are unable to handle them yourself.
  • Change healthcare proxy: In addition, you should make sure your ex-spouse is no longer the person you have listed as your healthcare proxy or agent in your advance directives, as you likely no longer want them making medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Disinherit: Remove your former spouse from your will and trust so they no longer inherit any of your assets, and make sure you no longer have them classified as an estate executor or trustee.
  • Change beneficiaries: If you have any policies or accounts with named beneficiaries, such as life insurance, payable on death accounts or other, make sure to change those beneficiaries to someone other than your ex-spouse.
  • Think of the kids: Make sure you’ve got trusts in place for your children, if you did not already. You may also want to rethink who you want to have guardianship of your children in the event you and your former partner pass away before they reach adulthood.

For more tips about how to manage your estate planning process after a divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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