Amid the chaos of a divorce, with important matters like child custody and property division to consider, it can be easy to forget or dismiss certain responsibilities. Among those responsibilities is the necessary step of revisiting your estate plan. While you likely have your hands full, taking time to make adjustments to your will, trusts and powers of attorney may save you and your loved ones serious issues in the future.
Your healthcare proxy and powers of attorney
Your healthcare proxy and powers of attorney give authority to individuals to make medical decisions and have control over your assets should you become incapacitated. Depending on your relationship with your ex-spouse, you may not want them named on these important documents once the divorce is a done deal. You will want to revoke and update them with your attorney sooner rather than later.
Change your wills and trusts as needed
Is your ex-spouse named on your will? If possible, you should update your will and name a child, sibling or another trusted loved one as your will’s executor. The same goes for revocable trusts. The trust does not automatically change upon the finalization of your divorce.
Note that some estate planning matters may be addressed in pre- and postnuptial agreements. Be sure to review these agreements prior to making any major changes.
If you do not already have a well-established estate plan, the time following a divorce may be the best time to start one. Major life changes have a way of clearing your head and helping you better understand your own wishes for your assets and properties.