You might think that a divorce is the worst time to start focusing on your estate plan, but, in reality, it's one of the best times to begin. When you get a divorce, many things change. Addressing those changes in your estate plan is a good start toward protecting your beneficiaries.
What kind of updates do you need to make to a current estate plan or what should you do with a new estate plan? Here are a few ideas.
1. Update your will
If you made a will before you got married, now is the time to update it. Remove your spouse if you want to, and make sure you add any beneficiaries you wish to continue to support following your death. For instance, if your spouse had children that weren't your own, you may want to include them in your will despite no longer wanting your spouse in it.
2. Updating guardianship and Power of Attorney
Most people have a spouse or partner who is their Power of Attorney. If you no longer want this person to be your POA, you have to revoke that authority in your estate plan. In most states, the granted power is already revoked when you file for a divorce, so it's a good idea to update this file with a new POA as soon as possible.
3. Update your living will
Finally, update your living will. You want to make sure you change the person in charge of making decisions if you can't do so for yourself. For example, if your spouse used to be your agent, he or she would have made decisions about your care if you couldn't help yourself. Now, you should choose someone who has your best interests at heart to take his or her place.
These are a few things to update or include in a new estate plan upon divorce. These changes could affect your future, so it's a good idea to make them now.