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How to handle estate planning while divorcing

Individuals in Colorado who are getting divorced will likely experience many changes in their lives. Therefore, it is often necessary for a soon-to-be ex to alter their estate plan. For instance, it is a good idea for an individual to revoke a power of attorney that could potentially give a spouse access to records in their name.

It is also a good idea to change a health care proxy document. Failure to do so could result in an ex making decisions for a former spouse who is experiencing a medical emergency. In addition, it's important to update a will to name an alternate guardian to any children that a married couple had. Generally, the other spouse still has the right to be a guardian after the other parent passes away unless they're deemed unfit by a court.

Furthermore, it may not be possible to disinherit a spouse completely without leaving an estate planning document exposed to a legal challenge. In many cases, beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts cannot be changed until after the divorce is final. Finally, be sure to review the plan after the divorce to ensure that it still works as intended.

Ideally, estate planning will be seen as something that needs to be done on a regular basis. This may be especially true during and after a divorce. Couples going through a separation may want to consult with an attorney, accountant and estate planning professional. Doing so may make it easier to complete alterations to a will, trust or other documents. In some cases, new estate plan documents will be needed.

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