Divorce can be stressful, but you can avoid making a bad situation worse by ensuring your financial life is in order. Here are some steps to take if it happens to you or someone you know:
- Make a list of your assets and debt and divide jointly owned items.
- Notify creditors that you will no longer be responsible for your spouse’s debts.
- Close joint bank and credit card accounts, and pay off any existing balances.
- Open new bank and credit accounts in your name, or update any authorizations on existing accounts.
- Request a Social Security statement for yourself and your spouse at ssa.gov.
- Decide whether one of you will keep your current residence, and take appropriate next steps.
- Collect tax records for property you may receive in the divorce.
- Gather copies of all financial records and tax returns; locate birth certificates, education records and other documents.
- If applicable, change your name on all your accounts and records, and update your Social Security card and driver’s license.
- Request extra copies of your divorce/separation agreement.
- Review your credit report for accuracy.
- Create or revise your will, living will, durable power of attorney, health power of attorney and trust.
- Work with your financial advisor to review your investments and retirement plan, and adjust as appropriate. Use our retirement calculator to learn more about the progress you're making.
- Review and update beneficiaries on your accounts and life insurance policies.
- Update financial plans for any children’s education expenses.
This checklist is just a starting point. Your financial advisor is available to assist you and help ensure your financial best interests remain a priority.
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.