Going through a divorce means you’re dealing with many changes in your life. Some of these involve factors like where you’ll live and when you’ll have your children.
Many people don’t think about their estate plan when they’re going through a divorce, but it’s crucial that you get this plan updated to reflect your current wishes.
1: Before the divorce
You can update your power of attorney designations. This includes one for finances and another for health care. This is especially important if you already had these done to give your spouse that power. Now that you’re divorcing, you probably don’t want your soon-to-be ex in charge of making decisions about your money or medical care.
2: After the divorce
After the divorce is finalized, you can establish trusts and set up your will. You can’t do this during the divorce because you don’t know what assets you’ll walk away with at the end of the divorce. If you include things in your estate plan that you don’t own, the estate will have to procure them to distribute to beneficiaries.
3: Special considerations
If you have children, you should ensure that your estate plan takes them into consideration. If their other parent is living, they’ll be the person to raise the kids in most cases. It’s still a good idea to name someone for temporary guardianship so they can care for the children until the other parent arrives. You may also leave trusts to help care for them if something happens to you.
Taking the time to get your estate plan in order is a multi-step process. It may be easier for you to get this taken care of if you’re working with someone familiar with estate planning.