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Why it’s so important to update your estate plan after a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce is an uncomfortable situation for anyone in Arkansas. However, once your marriage has ended, it’s crucial to update your estate plan. Focus on these legal documents in your estate plan.


Your last will and testament should immediately be updated after your marriage is over. You probably listed your spouse as a beneficiary and/or executor of your estate, but after your split, you should remove their name. The same should occur in the event that you get remarried to a new spouse as you will want to update your will and have their name included instead.

Health care proxy

A health care proxy is a crucial legal tool that allows you to determine how you want your medical decisions handled if you’re rendered incapacitated. Many people name their spouse as their agent who has the authority to make any medical decisions on their behalf. However, you should update this document once you divorce and name someone else to serve the role.

Beneficiary designations

Immediately update your beneficiary designations and remove your former spouse’s name. If you have other people named as beneficiaries, they, not your former spouse, will inherit from you.

Powers of attorney

If you named your former spouse as your agent in your financial and medical powers of attorney, now that you’re divorced, you should update these legal documents. Remove their name and choose someone more appropriate. This could be an adult child, sibling or close friend you trust with your life.

Your trust

The only type of trust you can make changes to is a revocable living trust. During or after your divorce, you can update it so that your former spouse cannot get control of it in the future.

These are some estate planning documents you should immediately update after divorce. Each family situation is different, so it’s important to do some research to ensure that your estate plan is complete.