No one plans to get a divorce when they marry. So, when we enter such a life-changing season, it is easy to feel bombarded by confusion and anxiety over the issues at hand. The matters you will likely want to address relate to child custody, spousal maintenance and property division. What you may not be thinking about, however, is how you have planned for your estate thus far and what you will do with your assets and plans going forward.
Change your will, amend your trusts
If you set up plans with your spouse while married, you will want to update them as soon as possible. That is not to say that you shouldn’t trust your soon-to-be ex-spouse during the divorce process. But if your spouse is an executor on your will, or named on your trusts, your assets may be managed in a way you no longer approve of in the event of your death.
Address your powers of attorney and health care proxy
It is possible that you may become incapacitated. A power of attorney is a document that makes financial decisions on your behalf. If you and your spouse had one set up for your assets, make sure you update or redraft your power of attorney. Contact an experienced lawyer for help with this. While you are at it, you will also want to create or update your health care proxy. This document appoints a person to be responsible for making your healthcare-related decisions should you become unable to make them yourself.
Protect what is yours
Once the dust of the divorce has settled, revisit your estate plans and ensure they are adjusted accordingly. Estate plans left untouched post-divorce could lead to future litigation issues among your loved ones. Consider contacting an estate planning attorney or otherwise qualified professional to learn more.