Megan E. Spidell
Spring Cleaning After Your Divorce
With a new season and good weather upon us, it’s time to start thinking about Spring Cleaning!
If your divorce is all finalized and property issues settled, here are a few things that I recommend you start doing to clean up after your divorce.
1) Updating Beneficiaries- If you were awarded a 401K, IRA or other retirement account, make sure to change your beneficiaries to remove your spouse. Even if you are divorced, the plan administrators do not automatically change your beneficiaries.
2) Taxes/Withholdings- April 15th has passed, however, if you filed for an extension on your taxes or you are trying to figure out how to file next year, talk to an accountant to see how the new laws affect things like: alimony, child tax credits, and mortgage interest deductions to ensure you are correctly filing your taxes. Additionally, you may want to change your income tax withholdings with your employer if you are now the Head of Household for tax purposes.
3) Update Wills/ POAs- If you previously drafted a Last Will and Testament, Health Care of Financial Power of Attorney, it is time to update those to reflect who you want to inherit from your estate, make financial decisions when you are unable to do so or make medical decisions on your behalf. If you don’t have these documents, it is time that you get them! See our website for Estate Planning options.
4) Clean out the personal property. Assuming everything has been divided, its’ time to let go of your spouse’s makeup under the sink, his or her favorite old t-shirt, grungy golf clubs in the garage, old paperwork or even your wedding band! Really give your home a spring cleaning so that you can start fresh. Check out the Marie Kondo method (on Netflix “Tidying Up”, or the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”- it works and it will be harder than you expect! (Trust me, I have tried it)
5) Get rid of the emotional baggage. This is the tough one. You may be able to update the paperwork and clean the house, but emotionally cleaning yourself up may come as the biggest challenge for you. Check out the “Finding Yourself After Divorce” link on Spidell Family Law’s website for some healthy suggestions. https://www.spidellfamilylaw.com