When your divorce is final, you will probably want to sit back, relax and take a deep breath.
However, after finalizing your divorce with the court, there are a few more steps you should take to completely separate your life from your ex.
1. Your will and other estate documents
After a divorce, take a close look at your will. If your spouse was the executor of your will, your power of attorney or your medical power or attorney, you should name a new trusted person to fill those important roles. If the guardians for your children were family members of your ex, you may want to revisit that decision.
2. Life insurance, retirement account and investments
After a divorce, be sure to update who should receive the benefits of your life insurance policy when you die. If the divorce splits your retirement accounts or investments, follow the court’s order to properly transfer your shares to your name alone. Update any other accounts with beneficiaries after a divorce.
3. Bank accounts and credit cards
Once your divorce is final, close all joint bank accounts and credit card accounts so that you will hold no responsibility for your ex’s future debt. If you had a personal bank account that was payable on death to your spouse, remove their name.
If you took your spouse’s name during the marriage and want to return to your original name after the divorce, see if you can make the name change official as part of your divorce judgment. If not, your will need to file for an official name change. Once your name has officially changed, make sure to update all documents with your new name.