Does Divorce Impact an Estate Plan?

December 6, 2022
A man and woman are pictured sitting at a table, both with their hands raised in a show of disagreement, while a third person, pictured in the background sits between the two, seeming to mediate.

The Changes That Come with the End of a Marriage

When a couple gets divorced, their estate plan needs to be updated. This is because the original plan was likely based on the assumption that the couple would always be together. Now that divorce is on the horizon, it's important to make sure your estate plan reflects your new circumstances. If you don't update your estate plan after divorce, you could end up with a lot of problems down the road. In this blog, read about the impact of divorce on an estate plan and how to make changes to reflect your new situation.

Changes to an Estate Plan After a Divorce

Understandably, divorce can have a significant impact on all aspects of life, including your estate plan. If you have gone through the process of creating an estate plan, it is important to review and update your documents after your divorce is finalized. Here are some key changes to keep in mind:

Beneficiary Designations

If you named your former spouse as a beneficiary on any accounts (life insurance policy, retirement accounts, etc.), be sure to update the beneficiaries to reflect your current wishes.


If you named your former spouse as the guardian for any minor children, you may wish to appoint someone new in their place.

Power of Attorney

If you named your former spouse as an agent under a durable power of attorney, you will need to appoint someone new.

Wills and Trusts

If your former spouse is named as executor or trustee of your estate, you will need to name someone new in their place. You may also need to make changes to the distribution of assets in your will or trust.

Ask for Help from an Estate Planning Attorney

If you have any questions about updating your estate plan after a divorce, contact an experienced estate planning attorney and ask for their guidance. They can give you the help you need to make the most informed choice for your future.

Related Posts:
What Should I Include in My Estate Plan?

Key Elements to Include

You may not want to think about the unexpected occurring. But the fact is if something happens and you don't have an estate plan in place, your loved ones will have a great bit to deal with in the aftermath - and that can be a lot harder than it needs to be. In this blog post, we'll discuss what should go into an estate plan in Michigan. We'll cover wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. So whether you're just getting started on your estate planning or you're looking for a refresher course, read on!


A will is primarily used to outline what happens to your property and possessions after you die. You can use a will to:

  • Designate who will receive your property
  • Appoint a guardian for your minor children
  • Name an executor to carry out your wishes

If you die without a will, state law regarding estates will determine how your property is distributed.

Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. It can give you peace of mind to know that your final wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.


Trusts are also popular estate planning tools. A trust is created when a settlor (the person who creates the trust) transfers property to a trustee. The trustee manages the property on behalf of the beneficiaries designated by the settlor. Trusts can be used in various ways, including asset protection, minimizing taxes, and planning for loved ones with special needs.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make financial and legal decisions for you if you ever become incapacitated. If you do not have a power of attorney in your estate plan, your loved ones will have to get authority from the court to handle your affairs, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

There are two types of power of attorney: durable and nondurable. If you become incapacitated, your appointed person's durable power of attorney remains in effect; nondurable power of attorney expires if you become incapacitated. You can choose to have one type or both types in your estate plan.

Healthcare Directive

A healthcare directive sets forth your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes yourself. For example, you can use a healthcare directive to specify whether you want to receive life-sustaining treatment if you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition.

A healthcare directive can also appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Choose someone who you trust to make decisions in accordance with your wishes and what they believe would be the best option for you.

Work with an Estate Planning Attorney

There are many things to consider when creating an estate plan. The best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you determine what kind of documents you need and how to best protect your assets. If you need help creating an estate plan, reach out to the team at Michigan Law Center, PLLC. We advocate for our clients at all parts of the estate planning process.

September 15, 2022

No items found.