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Important estate planning considerations amid divorce

Divorce can, at times, seem all-consuming. If you are in the midst of one, you may focus on matters that may include finding a new place to live or hashing out a new child custody arrangement. While working through these and related matters is certainly important, so, too, is thinking about how you may need to update your estate plan now that your familial situation has drastically changed.

Until your divorce is officially final, your spouse likely has certain rights, some of which could involve having decision-making power over you in certain medical and other situations. If you were to pass away or become incapacitated before your divorce finalized, your former spouse could potentially be the one to make important decisions on your behalf. There are, however, some things you can do to help limit the power your ex would have under these circumstances. For example, you may want to consider:

Updating your will

In most cases, married people play major roles in their spouse's estate plans. You may have left most or all your assets to your spouse, for example, or you may have expressed that you wanted your ex to serve as your executor if you were to pass away. You may not want him or her to retain this power once you divorce, however, so it may serve you well to revisit your will when you split.

Updating your powers of attorney

You may, too, have given your spouse power of attorney at some point during your marriage, giving him or her potential control over your medical, financial or other affairs if something happened to you. Once you part ways, though, you may want to give this power to someone else.

While these are two important areas of your estate plan that may warrant a second look when you divorce, this is not a full list of all areas that may need updating.

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