Your estate plan clearly details the division of your assets and handling of your estate after your death. Once you finalize your estate plan, you should review it at least once a year and any time you face major life changes.
When your marital status changes, there are a few components to consider.
Your proxies need adjustment
When you get married, you should update your estate plan to include power of attorney and health care proxy forms for your spouse. This ensures that your spouse can legally carry out your wishes in the event that something happens. Following a divorce, you will want someone else to serve in those roles. Update the forms accordingly with a different loved one or family member.
Your assets are affected
After marriage, your estate plan should reflect rights of survivorship on the property and assets that you and your spouse own. This ensures that assets stay with your spouse in the event of your death. If you get divorced, revise the documents for the assets you retain.
Your beneficiaries may change
Your beneficiaries will typically include your spouse, children and any step-children from the marriage. Make sure you update your estate plan accordingly after your wedding. When you file for divorce, update the beneficiaries in your estate plan so that your life insurance, investments and retirement funds go to your children or other beneficiaries.
If you have gotten married or divorced in the past year, these are just a few of the things you should update.