Following a divorce it is critical to re-visit your estate plan. If you no longer want your ex-spouse to be beneficiary of your estate, or disinherit your child(ren), then take a careful look at your will and beneficiary designations.

Pay attention to beneficiary designations for retirement plans, life insurance plans, and annuities. Revisit your will and trusts, along with any transfer on death investment accounts, and payable on death banks accounts.

Making changes can be as simple as completing a form, however, other changes are more complicated and require the expertise of an accountant and/or an attorney. If you take no action, you may find your ex-spouse is still entitled to some of your assets.

If you and your ex-spouse share children, seek advice from an attorney. In case anything were to happen to you, and your ex-spouse would assume guardianship of your minor children, any money left to them from your estate would go through your ex-spouse. If you feel that these funds may not be used correctly, establish a Revocable Living Trust and/or consider choosing another individual as guardian of the estate. A trustee could take over management of funds and pass them on to your children as you choose. A trust can also protect assets from your ex-spouse’s new spouse if he or she gets re-married.

If you have children and choose to get re-married, you may be surprised to find your new spouse unintentionally disinherited your existing child(ren). Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you choose options that work for your family.

If you have been through a divorce, and you believe any of these issues apply, an experienced probate and estate attorney can help amend your estate plan so that it correctly reflects your wishes.