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Estate planning for the newly divorced in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Estate Planning |

There are a lot of moving parts when filing for divorce in Minnesota. Between custody and asset division, hardly anyone thinks to update their estate plan during the chaos.

Odds are, your spouse was the first beneficiary you listed for most of the accounts. So after the dust has settled from your divorce, one of the first things you’ll want to do is review your estate plan.

Change your will (or create a new one)

You might want to remove your now ex-spouse from your will entirely and change your will to include whoever you want to inherit your assets after you die. In most cases, these heirs will be your children, siblings, or other extended family members.

Depending on how complicated your will was before, it might just be easier for you to make a completely new will. Odds are, enough has changed after the divorce regarding assets and beneficiaries that a new will might be easier.

Change beneficiaries on every account you have

You will also want to go through all of your other accounts and change your beneficiaries. Some examples of accounts that might have you list beneficiaries are:

  • Checking or savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts or pensions
  • Life insurance policies
  • Investment accounts

You’ll list your new beneficiaries on these accounts as appropriate. You can even have your friends listed as beneficiaries with little to no issue. But if you don’t update your will to remove your spouse, they may have a claim to all of your things after you die.

Addressing power of attorney and health care agents

Oftentimes, estate plans will also address who should act as your healthcare agent and power of attorney in a medical emergency where you’re incapacitated. Most people list their spouses, which can have devastating consequences if not updated.

You will also want to address who should act as guardians of your children. If you pass before your spouse, they will get custody. But you still want to address who should be named guardian if your spouse can’t take custody.

Addressing these things so soon after a divorce can be emotionally draining. But updating this information as soon as possible will make things easier for your family.