Divorce can be overwhelming, and you may feel like you have a thousand things to do before the emotional ordeal is over. Unfortunately, you need to add estate planning to the list. Specifically, reviewing and updating your plan.
Many people do not consider their estate plan during the divorce process but neglecting to update your plan after a life change like divorce can cause serious issues down the road.
Here are three items in your estate plan you’ll want to be sure to check and update after your divorce.
Health Care Directive/Proxy
One of the most important parts of an estate plan is your health care directive and health care proxy. These documents outline your health care wishes should you become incapacitated. Many people name their spouse as their health care proxy, giving them power to carry out your wishes and/or make decisions on your behalf. If you and your spouse are getting divorced you should plan to appoint a new health care proxy and update the instructions in your directive.
Your Will, Trusts Etc.
The main component of your estate plan usually consists of your will, trust and other instructions about how your possessions and assets will be distributed. Oftentimes people name their spouse as a joint owner or beneficiary to their estate. You may also need to update your list assets and possessions in your will or trust if this changes after your divorce settlement is made. Updating these components now can save you headache and hassle down the road.
Power Of Attorney
Similar to healthcare directive, power of attorney gives another person access to your accounts and assets in order to make financial decisions should you become incapacitated. If you listed your spouse as power of attorney, you should consider naming someone else.
Updating your estate plan so it’s an accurate reflection of your current life is incredibly important. Neglecting this can lead to issues down the road and cause problems for your loved ones. After your divorce is finalized, you will want to go through your estate plan carefully and update anything that is out-of-date or incorrect based on your new situation.