When you and your spouse in Tennessee come to the conclusion that your marriage is over, you will be faced with a seemingly endless set of decisions to make. Your attention must be put to where you will live, when your children will be with you, who gets to keep the dog and cat, if you will sell your house and more. In the midst of these immediate things, you should also pay attention to some basic elements of your estate plan.
At a minimum, Forbes recommends that newly separated or divorcing spouses update their advanced health care directive and durable power of attorney. If they have not yet created these documents, now is the time to do so. These two powerful estate planning documents grant another party the right to manage your medical needs and your finances if you become sick or injured and cannot do this for yourself. Having these documents updated prevents these rights from being granted to your estranged spouse by default.
Once your divorce decree has been approved and you know what assets and debts you are left with, you should start the process of updating your will and any trust you may have in place. Beneficiary designations on things like life insurance policies or retirement accounts should also be updated once your divorce is finalized.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in Tennessee who are getting a divorce an understanding of what elements of their estate plan they can and should change when during their divorce process.