Many people prepare financial statements in the process of getting divorced. This is a good time to look at all of your accounts, and to update your beneficiaries. After all, you might not want your ex to receive an unexpected gain in several years because you never got around to it. Common accounts that have beneficiary designations include:
- Life Insurance
- Retirement and IRA accounts
- Some brokerage or savings accounts
It is also a good time to update your estate planning documents. Take a look at your health care proxy (the person who will make health realted decisions for you if you are alive but cannot speak for yourself). And — very importantly — you power of attorney (designating someone who will manage your finances if you are alive but not able to manage them). If you don’t have them, now’s the time!
Who do you appoint in these positions? Someone who is smart and level headed, and whom you can trust to carry out your wishes — putting your needs in front of their own.
It is also a good time to reread your will — does it need to be changed? However, divorce agreements often provide provisions that may affect the will, so you might need to wait until the divorce agreement is signed before revising your will.
This is just one area of many cogs in the wheel that lead to your transition to being single again.