Life can be hectic during and immediately after your divorce. Your routines may change and your to-do list may grow. It can be difficult to juggle the paperwork, payments and decisions that come with divorce, as well as your regular day-to-day activities like feeding the dog and taking your kids to school.
With everything going on, it is completely understandable that a few things may get lost in the shuffle. However, there is no way to know what the future may hold, so it may be wise to update your estate plan sooner rather than later.
Why should I update my estate plan now?
With everything else going on, you may wonder why your estate plan should be bumped to the top of your to-do list. After all, you at least have an estate plan, which is more than many people can say.
Although it may be inconvenient, estate plans work best when they reflect your current situation and current wishes. Because of this, you should always review and update your estate plan after major life events, such as marriage, death of a loved one and divorce.
Updating your estate plan after divorce can help prevent your plan from causing unintended consequences if you die unexpectedly. Divorce may have changed your assets, who you want to receive your assets, who you want to tackle specific responsibilities and other components of your estate plan.
What should I consider when updating my estate plan?
When updating your estate plan, it may be wise to remove your ex’s name from your plan wherever possible. Remember that this may include designations for positions of responsibility, such as your:
- Agent in a power of attorney
- Alternate decision-maker in a health care directive
It may also be time to rethink who you selected to be the guardian for your minor children. Your ex will probably end up caring for your children if you pass away unexpectedly. However, if your ex is declared unfit or is otherwise unable to care for your children, a court would appoint a guardian to care for your children. Although you may have selected someone already, divorce can change many relationships, especially relationships with your former in-laws, and it may now be appropriate to select a different guardian.
Although this may be an especially busy time in your life, it is an important time to make sure your estate plan in in order. Updating your estate plan now can help protect your loved ones and your wishes in case something unexpected happens to you.