After a divorce, a newly single person should make updating their estate plan a priority to ensure their documentation adequately reflects the changes in their life. However, even before their divorce is over, a person can update some important portions of their estate plan that authorize another person to manage their finances or their health if they should ever be unable to do so themselves due to an accident or other unforeseen situation.
Because most people name their spouse as the responsible party in such situations, updating these documents upon separation is wise, as explained by Forbes. Few people want their estranged or former spouse to have control of their money or health. For financial management, a power of attorney may be used to assign this responsibility to the desired person.
When it comes to medical decisions, the American Cancer Society indicates that two different advance directive documents should be created. One of these is the living will which outlines a person’s choices regarding what should or should not be done if they become permanently unconscious or are deemed to be at the end stage of life.
A medical power of attorney identifies the person or persons who shall be granted the right to access medical records, speak with medical team staff and make medical decisions on the part of the person if and when necessary. As with a will executor or the trustee of a trust, having a backup person identified is recommended in the event that the primary named person is unable to perform the duties at the time they are required.