When divorce terms are finalized and binding it does not necessarily mean it is time for the divorcing couple to sit back and relax.
Divorce terms can include individual divorce tasks for the couple to complete, such as selling the marital home, dividing up accounts, and changing the title of vehicles.
In addition, during this time an individual can have tasks to complete that require their review, attention, and action. Some of these tasks may not be spelled out in the finalized divorce terms.
Examples of Individual Divorce Tasks You Should Complete During Divorce
1. Review and Update Estate Planning Documents
Consult with an estate planning attorney to review and update your Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, and other estate planning documents. If you do not currently have these documents, consider meeting with an estate planning attorney to have these documents drafted for you. Provide your attorney with your finalized divorce documents to determine if the Will and other estate planning documents should contain specific language to comply with your divorce terms.
2. Review Life Insurance Policies
Update the beneficiary information on all of your life insurance policies. This includes life insurance policies obtained on your own and those obtained through employment. This may involve selecting beneficiaries of your own choice or designating specific beneficiaries to comply with your divorce terms. It is also possible that you may need to purchase a new life insurance policy to comply with your divorce terms.
3. Retirement Accounts
Update your beneficiary information on all of your retirement accounts. This may include beneficiary information for pensions and other retirement accounts obtained through employment as well as on your own. This may involve selecting beneficiaries of your own choice or designating specific beneficiaries to comply with your divorce terms.
4. Bank and Investment Accounts
It is common for divorce terms to include information as to how bank and investment accounts are to be divided. Upon divorce and division of these accounts, review how your funds are titled and update if needed. Also review and determine if there is a payable on death beneficiary on any of the accounts and update if needed.
5. Contact Information
Make a list of the forms you completed prior to the divorce where you listed your ex as your own emergency contact. These forms may pertain to documentation you completed for health professionals, your employer, and possibly others. Update the emergency contact on these forms as needed.
6. Email Addresses and Phone Numbers
If you and your ex shared an email address and/or phone number during the marriage, determine if one or both are linked to assets or services you currently own as an individual. If so, consider updating the email address and/or phone number accordingly, assuming the modification will comply with your divorce terms.