As someone currently involved in a California divorce, it makes sense that you might let other matters fall to the wayside for a while, but your estate plan is one matter you do not want to ignore. In the unfortunate event that you should pass away or become incapacitated before your divorce finalizes and you have not updated your estate plan to reflect your recent transitions, the spouse you are divorcing may have control over your affairs. At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates, we understand that you may have reason to update your estate plan when you go through a divorce. We have helped many clients facing similar circumstances make plans for the future that reflect the recent changes in their lives.
Per Forbes, updating your estate plan amid divorce gives you an opportunity to gain more control over your financial, medical and personal affairs. Doing so can also strip away power from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, which you may want to do if the situation between you two has become particularly acrimonious. So, what types of estate planning matters might you want to address while you navigate your way through a divorce?
For starters, if, like many married people, you gave your spouse power of attorney at some point during your marriage, you may want to give someone else power of attorney once your marriage starts to dissolve. If you do not change your power of attorney, you run the risk of having your former partner maintain access to your bank accounts and other assets, which could prove highly problematic if things become increasingly ugly between you.
You may, too, want to consider updating your health care proxy to reflect your new life circumstances. If you do not do so and you, say, suffer serious injuries in a car accident while your divorce is ongoing, the person you are divorcing may be the one with the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can find out more about divorce by visiting our webpage.