If you already have an estate plan, that’s excellent. Most people do not, so you’re ahead of the game. You’re prepared for the unexpected, and you know your family will be taken care of.
However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your estate plan is now set for the rest of your life. Any time that there is a major change, you need to update the plan. Examples include having a child, retiring from your job, acquiring new assets and debts or getting divorced.
Divorce can mean that much of your plan suddenly becomes outdated. You may have left most of your assets to your spouse, trusting that they would pass them on to your children. Now you want to cut your ex out and leave the assets to your children directly.
You also need to consider things like end-of-life-care and your medical power of attorney. Someone needs to be able to make decisions for you if you can’t make them on your own. Not only do you want to take that power away from your ex, but you need to find someone else who can do it.
Finally, you should look at documents that may already have your spouse named as a beneficiary. Examples include your retirement plan and your life insurance policy. These should be updated directly, as they take precedence even over your will.
When life changes, make sure you consider the long-term ramifications and the legal options you have to get things in order. Proper planning can ensure that everything still goes smoothly when the time comes.