Estate plan should be reviewed during divorce process

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2018 | Divorce, Firm News |

When a married couple decides to separate, they must make many difficult decisions addressing various aspects of their lives: finances, property, children, etc. To make matters more difficult, many people find the divorce process an extremely emotional and stressful time. Although everything seems overwhelming at this time, Nebraska divorcing individuals are advised to review their estate plan while the divorce is in process. In doing so, a person can ensure his or her control over what happens in case of death or incapacitation during the divorce process.

An expert suggests several important aspects of a typical estate plan that people should revisit. For one, in their health proxy, most people likely named their spouse as the person responsible for making health care decisions for them in case of an accident. In light of an ongoing divorce, most individuals will want to update this name. A divorcing person should also change his or her power of attorney, especially in the case of a less than amicable divorce, since the current document may allow the soon-to-be-ex access to the partner’s assets and accounts.

Divorcing individuals should also check their state laws to determine what changes they are permitted to make while the divorce is in process. For example, making changes to beneficiary designations of life insurance, retirement plans and pensions is not possible in many states until the divorce is final. As well, a divorcing person should check if executing a new will is allowed in his or her state and do so if possible. This way, the individual can remove the current spouse as executor and maintain some control over guardianship of minor children, for example.

Once the divorce is final, the divorced person should review the estate plan again and update as necessary. The divorce process is rarely easy, but those who take the time to review an estate plan created during a happier time in the marriage can at least enjoy some peace of mind knowing that if something happens to them before the divorce is final, they have had some control over the outcome. Divorcing individuals in Nebraska can contact an attorney experienced in family law for guidance in all aspects of the divorce process, including making decisions about estate matters.