There are many documents used in any legal proceeding. In family law the question is, what documents to review after divorce?  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after a divorce in Arizona. Even with an experienced Arizona family lawyer at your side, it may be difficult to know where to start with respect to making changes to your retirement can seem overwhelming to complete all the changes necessary to your personal portfolio items such as life insurance beneficiaries, retirement accounts, and estate planning documents. Unfortunately, your job is not done when the divorce decree is handed down.

Why You Need to Review All Paperwork Post-Divorce

 A divorce presents an important opportunity to review all of your existing paperwork and update it as a result of your divorce. Most people do not realize that they need to update their beneficiary designations on various accounts or policies when a divorce has concluded. Your life insurance company or your retirement plan administrator, for example, may still have your former spouse listed as the beneficiary. These agencies and organizations don’t know any better than to follow the most recent beneficiary designation listed on your account. If something happens to you, your former spouse may receive benefits. To the extent your Decree does not require you to keep your spouse as these beneficiaries, that status should be updated to reflect a new person(s).

Consult with Your Estate Planning Attorney, Too

Once you’ve gotten divorced, it’s a good opportunity to set up a meeting with your estate planning attorney as well to go over any additional documents that you need to update. Your last will and testament and any revocable trust may need to be evaluated carefully. It’s also likely that you had a healthcare power of attorney or other power of attorney documents that gave your spouse authority or privilege to handle things on your behalf if something happened to you. Do not attempt to update these on your own without the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. Otherwise, you might make mistakes that could cause problems for your heirs in the future. Instead, take your existing documents to your current Arizona estate planning attorney. Our Firm has both family law and estate planning attorneys available to assist.

Do I Really Need to Do This Right Away?

It’s a good idea to update these materials as soon as possible so as to avoid legal problems down the line particularly in the event of an unexpected emergency. Setting up a meeting with your financial advisors and your circle of attorneys can help you to accomplish all of these goals relatively quickly. It will give you great peace of mind and confidence to know that your materials have been updated to reflect the most accurate information after a divorce has happened. To learn more about things to keep track of once your divorce has concluded, contact an Arizona family attorney today.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What Documents to Review after Divorce?, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.