Sander Ludeman

Sander Ludeman, AAMS Financial Advisor, Edward Jones 877-385-0305

(The Following Checklist was presented by Edward Jones Investments)

Divorce is a major change that can bring emotional and financial stress. We understand this may be a difficult time for you. Your financial advisor can be a trusted resource to help walk through many of the financial decisions you may need to make. This checklist can help you consider important financial decisions to address as a result of a divorce.

Taking Care of the Basics

■ Make a list of all your assets (including their market value and cost) and debt. This will be useful in dividing jointly owned items.

■ Determine whether you’re entitled to part of your spouse’s pension, 401(k) accruals or disability benefits.

■ Make a plan for closing joint bank accounts and paying off credit accounts.

■ Close all joint credit card accounts, and open new accounts in your own name.

■ Review and update your monthly budget.

■ Open or update ownership of a safe-deposit box for storage of important documents.

■ Request personal earnings and benefit statements for both you and your spouse from the Social Security Administration. You also may obtain these at

■ Determine whether one of you will maintain ownership of your current residence, and take appropriate next steps.

■ Obtain tax records for property you may receive in the divorce.

Gather and Update Important Documents

■ Gather copies of all financial records and tax returns.

■ If applicable, change your name on all your accounts and records, and update your Social Security card and driver’s license.

■ Update authorizations on open credit accounts.

■ Obtain extra copies of your divorce/separation agreement.

■ Update titles and re-register assets and property in your name alone.

■ Obtain and review your credit report.

■ Locate important documents such as birth certificates, education records, marriage license, etc.

Update Medical and Disability Insurances

■ Review and update your health insurance if necessary, including removing your spouse from coverage.

■ If minor children are involved, evaluate who should provide health coverage, unless stipulated in divorce agreement.

■ Determine if you are entitled to disability benefits.

Review Your Investments

■ Review and update beneficiaries on all accounts.

■ Work with your financial advisor to renew your investments and retirement plan and make adjustments as appropriate.

■ Ensure you receive the share of your spouse’s retirement plan to which you’re legally entitled. Consider a qualified domestic relations order (QDPRO) to protect your assets.

■ Update financial plans for children’s education expenses (Coverdell Education Savings Accounts or 529 plans.)

Address Tax Considerations

■ Regarding minor children, evaluate who should claim them as dependents if not stipulated in the divorce agreement.

■ Consult your tax professional to help you consider tax implications related to your divorce including tax withholdings, on Form W-4 and the timing of transitioning or selling assets (e.g. home, cars, retirement plans and insurance policies.)

Adjust Estate Plans

■Review life insurance policies to update your beneficiary designations.

■ Create or revise these documents immediately following your divorce: will, living will, durable power of attorney, health power of attorney and trust.

■ Meet with an attorney to review provisions for your children in case of your death.

This can be a challenging time and although this checklist is a starting point, your financial advisor is also available to assist you and help ensure your financial best interests remain a priority.