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Why you should revisit your estate plan during divorce

When you divorce and have an estate plan already in place, the divorce may give you cause to revisit that plan and update it as necessary. Many married individuals give others certain rights or responsibilities over their affairs in the event that they become incapacitated, but you may not want your ex retaining them once you split. 

What areas of your estate plan warrant a second look after a divorce? 

Guardianship arrangements 

If you named your spouse your child’s guardian, your divorce is somewhat amicable and you have no concerns about your ex’s ability to parent, you may not need to update your guardianship plans. If you divorced your ex because he or she was abusive or unfit in some other way, though, you may want to name someone else your child’s guardian. 

Health care directives 

Did you give your spouse medical power of attorney when you married? If so, you may want to give someone else the responsibility of making health care-related decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself. 

Beneficiary designations 

Laws may prevent you from eliminating your ex entirely from your will or trust. In some cases, though, you may want to revisit your beneficiary designations after a divorce and limit how much your ex may inherit from you. 

Executor and trustee arrangements 

Did you name your ex-spouse executor over your estate, or did you make him or her a trustee for a trust? If so, now may be a good time to rethink whether you still want your ex having these responsibilities after your split. 

When updating your estate plan amid divorce, see that your estate planner has access to all related divorce agreements. More about this topic is on our webpage.