If you are like most divorcing California residents, you may not likely think about your estate plan as a primary area of focus when you are in the throes of negotiating how you will split your assets and debts, who will have the kids when, and other major decisions. However, it is important that you do give your estate plan some attention at this time so that you can be properly protected in the way you really wish.

As explained by Forbes, there are generally some aspects of an estate plan that can be altered at any time in your divorce process and there are other parts of your estate plan that you will not be able to update until your divorce is completed finalized.

Because your will or trust require details about your assets, these documents will need to be reviewed once your decree is approved. You may also need to hold off changing beneficiary designations as you might be required to keep your ex-spouse as the beneficiary per the terms of your divorce. When it comes to a power of attorney or an advanced health care directive, however, these are things you can update as soon as you separate or initiate divorce proceedings. It is advised you do this so that your finances and health would be managed by the person you want should you be in an unforeseen situation.

If you would like to learn more about how you can protect yourself with an estate plans that appropriately reflects the changes happening in your life, please feel free to visit the divorcing person’s guide to the future page of our California estate planning website.