Divorce often means separating your life from your spouse. Depending on your relationship and whether you have children together, you may become completely separated or you may need to negotiate new terms.
While your attorney will help you arrange your legal situation during and after your divorce, it’s good to know what you should be considering in terms of estate planning. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your attorney:
- What should I leave to my ex? Though there are some laws about what an ex-spouse is entitled to, deciding on your own what you want them to have after you pass is personal. This will vary significantly depending on the strength of your relationship, but most decide to leave what is legally required and be done with it.
- Who should be my health care proxy? Many people name their spouse as the decision-maker if they are incapacitated. If your ex is your proxy, you may want to reconsider if you want them to be making health decisions for you after your divorce.
- What about my power of attorney? If you and your spouse set up a durable power of attorney, that means that they have access to all your assets. If you don’t want them to have that ability, talk to your attorney about replacing your power of attorney.
- Should I change my will or trust? How does your ex play into your estate after your death? If they are the executor, you might want to consider someone else. You can also think about appointing an alternate guardian for minor children and review gifts you may have left for your ex’s family.
- Does the rest of my estate planning line up with my pre- or post-nuptial agreement? Your attorney will be able to go through all your other legal documents and make sure that they line up with your divorce and nuptial agreements.
Depending on your relationship with your ex, you may need to make changes. When you work with an attorney who practices family law and estate planning, they will be able to help you make sure that your estate plan is up to date with your new life changes.