It can often take a long time between when you first file for divorce and when a Court grants the divorce. Most states have a mandatory waiting period of anywhere from a month to six months, or longer, before a Court can grant a divorce. If there are contested issues in the divorce, it can take even longer. This can create issues with parts of your estate plan.
After you get divorced, the law assumes that you meant to remove your ex-spouse from your Will, even if you have not done so. However, what happens if you pass away while your divorce is still pending? That can be a hotly contested issue in Probate that is not easy for the Court to resolve.
A Will is just one example of an estate planning problem while a divorce is pending. What if you become incapacitated and your spouse is still listed as your agent in a General Durable Power of Attorney or a Health Care Power of Attorney? The person you are divorcing is probably not the person you want making your health care and financial decisions.
If you are in the middle of a divorce, take some time to review your estate planning documents. If your spouse has an important role in them, consider changing them before the divorce is final.