Many people decide to give their spouses large roles in their estate plans, and with good reason. A marriage requires a strong degree of trust, so you may trust your spouse more than others when it comes to making decisions about your health, wealth and other affairs.
What happens, though, when something compromises that trust and you and your former partner decide to divorce? Unless you revisit your existing estate plan, your ex is going to retain any powers you gave him or her while your marriage was still intact. To prevent this or reduce the degree of power your ex has over certain areas of your life, consider revisiting the following aspects of your estate plan.
Your power of attorney
Financial disagreements are at the center of many divorces. If you no longer want your ex having control over your finances, consider updating your power of attorney and giving this responsibility to someone else. Another family member, a close friend or a financial advisor may present alternative options.
Your health care directives
Just as you may want to reduce the power your ex has over you with regard to finances, you may want to do the same when it comes to health care. If you gave your former spouse the power to decide what happens to you if you need medical care and are not able to consent, you may want to update this aspect of your estate plan.
Your guardianship decisions
Not everyone navigating a divorce needs to change who they list as guardians over their children in the event of a crisis. If you and your ex are both active parents, he or she would typically assume responsibility for your shared child if something happens to you. If your ex is unfit to parent due to a history of abuse or substance abuse, though, you may want to name an alternative guardian.