Should you update your estate plan during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2021 | Family Law

Many people consider divorce as a period in which they can engage in change. It is a period of upheaval and stress, but it is also often a period of growth, rebirth and redirection. You may also take the time to handle matters you may have been putting off, such as updating your estate plan.

While you cannot update every part of a plan in the middle of a divorce, there are other parts you can. You can also review as much of your plan as you want at any time. But is a divorce a good time to tackle these things?

Removing your ex as durable or medical power of attorney

Forbes discusses some estate planning moves to make in the event of a divorce. First, you do not have to wait until the finalization of a divorce to change your durable or medical power of attorney. A medical power of attorney can make medical choices for you if you cannot do it for yourself, such as if you fall into a coma. A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, can make decisions about your assets and other legal matters.

Removing your partner from this document right away, also removes some of the potential power that your soon-to-be-ex may otherwise have over you if you get into a situation where you become incapable of making your own decisions.

Why you must wait to amend your will

However, you cannot amend things like your trusts or wills. They must accurately reflect your assets, and you will not know your assets until after the finalization of the divorce. Fortunately, as soon as you get approval for your divorce decree, you can change these items as well.