If you and your spouse documented your long-term estate planning needs, you should feel good about having those things in order. When you and your spouse get a divorce, however, those plans may need a refresh.
Understanding what you may or may not update after you first separate or what you may need to update only after your divorce completes is important at this time.
Controlling your finances and health care
Most people name their spouse as the first person to take over control of their financial and health matters should an event occur rendering them unable to do so, such as after an unexpected accident. As explained by Forbes, leaving these rights with an estranged or former spouse may not be what you really want. For this reason, many separated or divorcing spouses opt to update or create their durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney even before their divorce has been finalized.
Asset distribution and beneficiary designations
During your divorce, you and your spouse must work through negotiations to agree on how you will split your marital assets. This means you will not know what assets you have left to address in an estate plan until your divorce completes. Decisions about these parts of your estate plan may then be one of the things you prioritize after you receive your final divorce decree.
More information about the various aspects of your long-term plans and the types of tools you may utilize may be available on the asset and life management page of our Minnesota estate planning website.