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Estate planning documents to update during a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce is stressful enough, but Ohio residents must check up on their important legal documents during this time. You should immediately update certain estate planning documents to ensure that your divorce goes smoothly.

Your will

As you go through a divorce, you’ll want to update your will. If you have your spouse listed as the sole beneficiary to inherit your property and assets, you will want to immediately change that. On the other hand, if you have children, you can designate them to inherit everything. Of course, if you end up remarrying, you will want to add your new spouse to your will.

Your trust

If you have a trust and have your spouse listed as a beneficiary, you will want to remove them. Forgetting to do this means that upon your death, with your former spouse still named, everything held in the trust will end up going to them. This could make for an uncomfortable situation with your family.

Your powers of attorney

Health care and financial powers of attorney should be updated during your divorce. You won’t want your ex-spouse to handle your affairs when you become incapacitated and unable to make your own healthcare decisions. You won’t want them to handle your finances, either. This can be especially uncomfortable if your divorce was under less than friendly circumstances.

Removing your spouse’s name from these legal documents is urgent because life is uncertain and things happen unexpectedly. You might want to name a close, trusted friend or one of your children to handle your powers of attorney.

A living will is another legal document you should update upon filing for divorce. Different from a health care power of attorney, it determines what should happen to you if you’re in the hospital and allows you to choose whether resuscitating measures should or should not be taken.

Keeping these important documents updated during a divorce can make your life easier.