After a divorce, individuals are generally filled with emotions that run the gamut from elation over starting a new chapter in their life to dread over how everything will now work. Unfortunately, too many people lose sight of the administrative details that must also be addressed. In short, any paperwork that lists you and your spouse should be examined to determine if a change needs to be made.
It is wise to read over your estate planning documents and any sort of insurance policy that lists your former spouse as either a beneficiary or a participant. The main types of insurance policies to examine can include:
- Life insurance: Especially as a single parent, it is important to have a life insurance policy to protect your children in the event of your untimely death. Aside from that, it is crucial that you make any alterations to your beneficiaries on your policy. Changing the beneficiary to a close relative might be better than having your former spouse listed.
- Health and dental insurance: Whether you have to get your own medical coverage or remove your former partner as a participant, it is important to act quickly. If you share children, you will likely need to decide on whose policy the children are covered.
- Car insurance: Your car insurance company will need to know if there has been a change in who drives the car and where you live. Your agent can guide you through making these changes.
- Home insurance: Whether you carry home or tenant insurance, it is crucial that you inform the insurance carrier what life changes have been made.
It is important to thoroughly review your insurance needs after a divorce. Whether you are ensuring your coverage is adequate or removing a former spouse from your policy, it is imperative that you not delay. Many companies have an open enrollment phase when changes can be made. With a significant life event, though, changes can generally be made at any time of the year – for only a short duration. Don’t hesitate to clarify your wishes.