Before your divorce got fully underway, you likely knew that you would need to make many changes in life. You undoubtedly considered the arrangements you would need to make for the children, what you should fight for during property division and numerous other factors directly related to the marriage dissolution process. What you may not have as closely considered, however, is how your divorce will affect your estate plan.
If you already created an estate plan, you were wise and made the effort to take this important step. Still, any major life change can throw your already-created plans out of order, and divorce is certainly one of those changes. As a result, you may want to consider reviewing and updating your estate plan.
What parts should you look at first?
If you created a comprehensive estate plan, you may wonder whether you will have to change every detail of your plan because of your divorce. Of course, whether that needs to occur will depend on your exact circumstances. Still, some aspects of your plan that you will certainly want to look at and update first include the following:
- Your power of attorney: Like most married people, you probably named your soon-to-be ex as your power of attorney agent. Updating that document could prevent him or her from having power over your affairs after your divorce.
- Your health care proxy: In a similar vein as your power of attorney, you likely named your spouse as the person who could make medical decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. Therefore, you should update that document to name another person if you do not want your ex acting in that capacity.
- Your will: A will can act as the cornerstone of an estate plan, and you may have included your spouse in that document or even named him or her as your executor. Again, failing to update this document could leave your ex in a position of power that you do not want him or her to have after your passing.
Of course, your estate plan may go far beyond the few documents mentioned here. Because you likely already feel a great deal of stress regarding your divorce, you may want to remember that a Texas estate-planning attorney can help you update your plan and explain what impacts ending your marriage could have on that plan.