When a couple gets married there are certain things that each spouse relies on from the other. Planning for the future and making sure there are documents in place should something happen to one of you should be at the top of your post-married list, right after sending out the thank you cards for all of the wedding gifts. If you don’t come up with an estate plan right away, it is even more critical that you do so after you have children. It is important to have a written plan for who will care for your minor children and how your property will be disposed in the event you and your spouse die. Of course if you survive your spouse, many of these questions will be answered because as the surviving spouse you will have the responsibility for your children and for handling marital debt and assets. Getting divorced changes all of this, and if you want to make sure your final wishes are carried out you will want to take steps to plan for your estate as a single person.
Three things to be sure you have after getting divorced include:
- A document that appoints who will be in charge of important medical decisions on your behalf, in the event you become incapacitated and unable to decide for yourself. When you were married the logical person to take on this task was your spouse, but now that you are single again you will want to appoint a trusted friend or family member to fill this role.
- If you have a will, make sure that you change the beneficiary from your ex-spouse to your children or another person you wish to designate as the one to receive your estate in the event of your death. You should do this for life insurance policies and any retirement accounts as well. And, if you do not have a will, now is the time to get one, or to change a joint will with your former spouse to a will that covers only you.
- Medical directives, such as a DNR or other document that details what actions you would want to be taken in the event of a life threatening injury or end of life illness.
After you get divorced you have to adjust to your new life, and part of this includes taking steps to make sure your estate plan is in order. It can be easy to forget about these things while in the midst of a divorce, but with our help we will make sure every issue is given the attention it deserves.
For more information about divorce and what changes need to be made to your estate plan, call us today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.