Divorce is emotionally and financially difficult. Chances are, your focus is on finding a way through the immediate difficulties of your divorce; do not lose sight of other essential details during this process.
Your estate plan is especially important, and many aspects of that plan should be reconsidered as you enter this new stage of your life.
1. Your will
Did you name your spouse as a beneficiary in your will or the executor? This will automatically be revoked under Ohio law when your divorce is finalized, but you will still want to revisit your will. This gives you the chance to name a new executor, reconsider property distribution and remove your former spouse’s relatives.
2. Your healthcare directive or living will
Do you have a plan in place regarding medical decisions? If you named your former spouse as your healthcare proxy in an emergency, it may be time to update this information. Choose someone you would trust to make important decisions for you in case of a health emergency or accident.
3. Power of attorney
If you become unable to manage your finances and assets, power of attorney is an important document to have in place. However, if you named your spouse, you should revoke that previous document and execute a new power of attorney. Choose someone you trust to manage your assets when you cannot.
4. Guardianship of your children
If you have young children or are the legal guardian of an adult, your estate plan should be clear about who will care for them if you were to pass away. This is especially important if you named your spouse as the guardian of children from a previous relationship. While you may still choose to have your former spouse act as their guardian if the worst should occur, revisiting your plan allows you to keep their best interests in mind after your marriage ends.
While your divorce is a stressful time, revisiting your estate plan will give you the assurance you need that your plan reflects this new chapter in your life.