If you and your spouse put together a detailed estate plan, you may feel quite good about having taken that step. Doing so may give you a sense of responsibility and security.

When you and your spouse subsequently choose to end your marriage, the plans you made together about your joint estate may now be one of the many things in your life that need to change.

Updating your will when divorcing

Identifying what you want to happen with your assets after you die logically requires a thorough understanding of what assets you have. When in the midst of a divorce, you may not have this knowledge as you and your spouse must split your joint assets as well as your joint debts. For this reason, Forbes explains that undertaking a complete overhaul of your estate plan may need to wait until your divorce has been finalized.

Updating your power of attorney

While some elements of your estate plan may remain in flux until your divorce is over, you may opt to create a new durable power of attorney and advance health care directive even during your divorce. These documents grant another person the power to manage your finances and health care if you become unable to do so. Updating these documents prevents your estranged spouse from having this control over your life.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to highlight some of the considerations a divorcing person should review regarding their long-term plans and the timing of updating an estate plan relative to their divorce.