Certain life changes prompt a second look at your Texas estate plan, and a divorce is one such change. Your life and future may look a whole lot different after a split than they did when you created your estate plan, and the decisions you made at that time might no longer apply.
For this reason, Kiplinger recommends taking a close look at certain areas of your estate plan as you navigate a divorce. More specifically, you may want to consider reviewing or updating the following areas.
YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY
It is common for married individuals to give their spouses power of attorney. After a divorce, though, you may not trust or want your former partner to have access to or the responsibility for managing your financial and other personal affairs.
YOUR HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE
Just as you may not want your ex having access to your finances, you probably do not want him or her making medical decisions on your behalf, either, should the need arise. If you gave your spouse the right to make health care decisions if you suffer incapacitation, you may want to give someone else this authority after your marriage ends.
YOUR BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
You will likely want to think about changing your beneficiary designations to reduce or eliminate your former spouse where possible. Keep in mind that minors are unable to own property. So, if you want to name your children as beneficiaries, rather than your ex, you may need to create a trust to do so.
You should consider updating your estate documents after any major life events, not just a divorce. However, even when there has not been a major change, you should still periodically review your estate plans to ensure they are up-to-date with your state’s relevant laws.