Can I update my estate plan during my divorce?

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Can I Update My Estate Plan During My Divorce

If you are a newly separated person and you and your spouse are preparing to get a divorce, you know that every aspect of your life may feel up in the air right now. It can be overwhelming to be faced with a seemingly unending list of decisions to make, yet you must work through them one by one. Your estate plan may feel like something you can address down the road, but the reality is that some elements of your plan may be best addressed right now.

As explained by Forbes, a durable power of attorney and an advanced health care directive are two essential components to any estate plan and two documents that can be amended while you are still sorting out the other details of your divorce. Doing this can be highly advantageous to you as it ensures that should an emergency occur that renders you unable to take care of your financial matters and your own health care, important decisions will be made by the person who you really want to do so at this time in your life.

You will want to save updating your will or trust for after your divorce is finalized in part because you will not know what assets or debts you have to work with until your divorce is over.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to help people understand what elements of their estate plan they can and even should address during a divorce and what elements they should prepare to update as soon as their divorce is over.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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