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Protecting your legacy amid divorce

Aug 14, 2020 | Divorce

People going through a divorce often focus on how the split will affect them today and tomorrow. However, they may not think about how a divorce can affect them long into the future. For instance, when it comes to considering the legacy you want to leave behind, the decisions you make during a divorce can take on a new level of importance.

Below, we look at some ways you can protect your legacy during and after a Texas divorce.

Create (or update) an estate plan

While divorce terminates a marriage, it does not always immediately terminate legal obligations with regard to estate planning.

Thus, once the divorce process is underway, consider creating or revising an estate plan to ensure it reflects changes with your ex, your former in-laws and parties with whom you no longer have a relationship. As this Forbes article recommends, pay special attention to powers of attorney, health care proxies, beneficiary designations and guardianships.

Assess your assets

Divorce will likely affect the assets you have to pass down or put toward long-term care eventually. Take a full accounting of your finances and how they will affect your plans regarding care, retirements, businesses and inheritances you hope to leave for your children.

Once you know what your new financial picture looks like, you can adjust your strategies for saving money and planning for the future.

Focus on your other relationships

Ending a marriage can be painful and disorienting. It can also cause conflicts and disputes with people you once loved and trusted.

Instead of focusing on everything that is ending, you can use this opportunity to build or strengthen other relationships. Perhaps you have relied heavily on specific friends; maybe haven’t been close to your family; the connection with your children or grandchildren may be tenuous. Focusing on reinforcing these relationships not only makes it easier to navigate this difficult time, but it also helps you reshape how you view your legacy.

Divorce is complicated, and thinking about the impact that death or incapacity has on others can be uncomfortable. However, people who approach these topics directly and with support can find they have greater peace of mind and confidence in their future than those who do not.