At Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates, we work with clients in Arkansas to not only create solid estate plans that meet their current and future needs, but also to update those plans as their lives change. A divorce naturally warrants some changes in a person’s estate plans. However, divorcing spouses should understand what they can and cannot update during their divorce and what may need to wait until the divorce has been completed. 

As notes by Forbes, many married people tend to name their spouses as the person who has the ability to make medical decisions on their behalf should they be unable to do so. Similarly, control over a person’s financial matters is often granted to a spouse in the same type of situations. Few people would like to have a separated, estranged or former spouse manage these parts of their lives. Therefore, as soon as the decision to separate or get divorced has been made, people should update their advanced health care directive and durable power of attorney. 

When it comes to wills or trusts, a divorce must be finalized before any amendments may be made. This allows people to know just what assets or debts they have retained before they determine how they might like to structure a new estate plan. In some divorces, one person may even be required to keep a former spouse as a named beneficiary on a specific account. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your assets at all phases of a divorce, please feel free to visit the divorcing person’s guide to estate planning of our Arkansas estate planning and probate website.