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Estate planning after divorce

All your attention during a divorce will likely be on the proceedings. However, once everything is final, you should then turn your attention to updating important estate planning documents. After all, you want to make sure your ex does not receive all your money and property should you pass away.

You no longer have certain obligations to your ex after legally separating. For starters, you will want to update your will, and in some circumstances, it will be better to simply create a new will from scratch. Here are other steps to take during this time: 

Switch powers of attorney

Giving someone power of attorney over you means this person has a right to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Most people will grant their spouses power of attorney, but after divorce, you may want to change it. You will want to provide your ex notice that you have altered power of attorney, and you will need to give someone else this responsibility. 

Amend the trust

Similarly to a last will and testament, you need to decide which assets, if any, you want to leave an ex-spouse in your trust. This is especially important if you and your spouse share any children. A trust may give your ex access to any monies you leave behind to your children. You should name someone else to serve as trustee. 

Update healthcare proxy

Along with updating your powers of attorney, you may also want to consider who serves as your healthcare proxy. For example, in the event you end up in the ICU after a car accident, your spouse would ordinarily be able to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. You may want to change who serves as the proxy while you are still in the midst of the divorce proceedings in case anything happens. All these steps allow you to have more control over your well-being after divorcing. 

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