A divorce touches every single part of a person’s life. A spouse going through a divorce must make a slew of changes and decisions on what seems like a daily basis while they put together a new life. During this process, he or she may review an estate plan.

When it comes to an estate plan, some elements may not be able to be changed before a divorce is over. Some elements, however, can be updated at any time, including during the divorce process.

Estate planning documents for medical and financial control

As explained by Forbes, some documents in a well-rounded estate plan provide another party the ability to manage medical or financial matters for someone who becomes unable to do so for themselves. This may happen as the result of an accident, a surgery or another event. A medical power of attorney or a durable power of attorney may be created or changed once a couple separates without needing to wait for the divorce to be completed. Doing this prevents an estranged spouse from having power that a person may not want.

Estate planning documents outlining asset distribution

Wills and trusts must appropriately reflect a person’s assets and a divorcing person will not know what assets he or she will have until a divorce completes. For this reason, these portions of an estate plan may not be amended until the divorce decree has been approved.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Virginia some things to consider regarding their estate planning needs and activities during and after they get divorced.