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Should I update my estate plan after I get separated?

| Jul 21, 2020 | Estate planning |

If you and your spouse have made the decision to separate, you may also be evaluating some longer-term decisions. Depending on your situation, the separation may provide time for the two of you to heal issues in your marriage or it may be the first step to getting divorced. 

Regardless of whether you and your spouse reunite, you may want to evaluate some aspects of your estate plan at this time. 

Financial and medical decisions

Many people immediately think about wills or trusts when the topic of estate planning arises. However, a solid estate plan includes other documents and tools as well, including those designed to empower another party to manage your finances or your medical needs if you are unable to do so. 

As explained by Forbes, a durable power of attorney and an advanced health care directive may be worth revising once you and your spouse separate. Even if you ultimately remain married and move back in with your spouse, you may not want your estranged spouse to have control over your money or health while separated. 

Asset management

While you and your spouse remain legally married, even if in the midst of a divorce process, changes to your will, trust or beneficiary designations may need to be put on hold. Updates to these portions of an estate plan can be reviewed after your divorce is over or once you and your spouse reunite. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give separated or divorcing spouses an overview of how this significant life change may impact their estate planning needs.