Posted on: 23 July 2015Share
If you are currently going through a divorce, you may be hoping that it will go through quickly so you can move on with your life. You should realize, though, that once it's complete, there may still be a few legal steps you must take to protect yourself and your assets. Here are three additional legal steps you may need to take after your divorce is finalized.
Create a new will
If you and your spouse had a will, one of the first things you should do after your divorce is create a new one. When couples make wills, they are generally created jointly. This typically means that if one spouse dies, the other spouse inherits everything that belonged to both of them.
After your divorce, you probably will not want your ex-spouse obtaining all your assets, which is why you should create a new will. Your new will can reflect your wishes regarding your assets, and this will offer the opportunity for you to remove your ex-spouse's name from the will entirely.
Change your power of attorney
Another good step to take is to change your power of attorney (POA), if you had one designated. A POA is a legal document that gives another person the right to make decisions for you. This can often include decisions about your finances and medical care.
You can easily modify the name of the person you select as POA by visiting an attorney. The attorney will draw up a new POA form, which will accurately reflect the name of the person you want to be your POA if needed.
If your ex was not the person originally listed as your POA, you may not need to have this form changed after your divorce.
Update your life insurance policies
Updating your life insurance policies may also be a step you should take after your divorce, but this is only necessary if your ex was listed as the sole beneficiary on your policies. Changing the name of your beneficiary is not typically something that requires the help of an attorney. In fact, you can probably do this simply by calling your insurance company or filling out a form.
If you do not make this change, your ex could end up receiving the proceeds from your life insurance if you die, because life insurance companies are legally required to distribute proceeds to the listed beneficiaries.
A lot of people go through divorces and forget to make these necessary changes, simply because they are just so glad to get the divorce process over. Making these changes is important though, and you can find out about other steps you should take after a divorce by talking to a Cunningham Law Professional Corporation divorce lawyer or one from another firm.