It is normal not to think about your estate plan during a divorce. Most people feel worn down by the divorce process and focus solely on finalizing the process. However, the estate plan may be one of the most important documents for you to revisit after breaking up with your spouse.
While there are parts of your estate plan that you cannot change while still married, there are elements you can change.
Change your powers of attorney
Most people name their spouse when drafting a power of attorney. If you gave your spouse control over your medical care or finances if something happens to you, you may want to draft a new one during the divorce. Most divorcing couples do not want the other person to decide for them. If something happens to you during your divorce, you do not want your ex to make your healthcare decisions or to determine what happens with your assets or investments. Change your designee as soon as possible. You do not have to wait until you finalize the divorce.
Revisit your will
You may want to consider revoking your will during the divorce process. You can revoke the will to safeguard it against your former spouse and rebuild from scratch. Rebuilding your will tends to be less complicated than editing it during a divorce. In addition to your will, look into your life insurance policies and retirement accounts. You should try to change beneficiaries before you finalize the divorce.
Once you finalize the divorce, you should return to your estate plan and make changes you cannot during the process.