Unfortunately, divorce is extremely common today. According to the American Psychological Association, about 40% – 50% of all marriages will end in divorce each year. Divorce is a very stressful time. During such high stress times, it may prove difficult to remember all the second and third order effects of dissolving your marriage. One of the most important plans to review when a divorce is imminent is your Estate Plan.
Here are some tips to consider concerning your Estate Plan in the event of a divorce.
Meet with your Estate Attorney
Discuss your divorce settlement with your estate attorney if the divorce is final. If it’s not final, discuss the mostly likely outcome with your estate planning attorney so they’ll be able to help adjust your plan to protect your assets and be able to carry out your wishes in the event of your death. Your attorney’s role stays the same. It’s to help protect your assets and preserve your legacy. They’ll need your help to ensure they can effectively do their job.
Revising Guardianship for Minor Children
If you and your former spouse have minor children together, it is very important to determine guardianship in the event of your passing. This is especially important if there were allegations of abuse during the relationship, including substance abuse by your former spouse. Protecting your child is a top priority. Regardless of the situation, be sure your divorce attorney clearly spells out the terms for care of minor children.
Rethinking your Health Care Proxy
Should anything happen to you, you need to make sure your health care proxy aligns with who you currently believe should make these tough decisions should that become necessary. It’s unlikely you’ll want your former spouse to be making these life and death decisions in the event you cannot.
Your Power of Attorney
Like the health care proxy, it’s unlikely you’ll want a former spouse to have your power of attorney. This is an extremely powerful instrument that gives the holder virtually unlimited authority to act on your behalf.
Contact Your Estate Planning Attorney
If you’re unclear about how your divorce, either pending or finalized, may impact your estate plan, contact your attorney at once. If you don’t have an estate plan, contact the Meridian estate planning attorneys at Ketlinski Law to set one up today!