Marriages fall apart for many reasons, but when yours ends, you may find yourself navigating residential, custody and other major changes. When you have so much going on, it may not occur to you to update your estate plan. However, failing to do so may lead to trouble and potential conflict.

If your divorce is becoming an ugly one, you may want to take immediate steps to limit any power your ex may have in the event that you become incapacitated before your divorce finalizes. Even if your relationship is not an acrimonious one, you may want to limit how much power your ex continues to have over you and your personal and financial affairs. So, when you divorce, consider giving these elements of your estate plan a fresh look.

Your powers of attorney

Unless you want your former spouse maintaining access to your financial records or having decision-making power over you in the event of a medical emergency, revisit your existing powers of attorney. It is common for married parties to give their spouses these responsibilities, but you may want to give them to someone else, such as a sibling, when you split.

Your beneficiary designations

It is also common for married individuals to leave the majority of their wealth to their spouses. Depending on how you decided to distribute your assets, i.e. whether you are doing so through a will, a trust or what have you, you may decide to update your beneficiary designations where possible to reduce how much your ex gets after your death. More about updating your estate plan is available on our webpage.