Estate Planning During a Divorce | What to Know

If you are getting divorced, you most likely have a lot on your mind. But, it is important that in the midst of all the chaos, you do not forget to update your estate plans. Updating your estate plan is one of the most important things to do during and after your divorce. Read on to learn more about the documents you may have to update.

Update Your Healthcare Proxy

Many people have strong opinions when it comes to their end-of-life care. As a result, people often create advance healthcare directives to declare their wishes regarding their medical care. You can also appoint an individual to make these decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated or are no longer of sound mind. Often, married couples will appoint each other. If you are getting divorced, this responsibility should go to another close friend or family member.

Change Your Power of Attorney

Your power of attorney allows an individual to make legal decisions on your behalf. Spouses often appoint each other as their powers of attorney. If a spouse is your durable power of attorney, they have access to all accounts and assets. It is important to change this as soon as possible. 

Update Your Will

Your will is an incredibly important document. It allows you to declare how your estate will be divided in the event of your passing and will allow you to leave your most important possessions to your loved ones. You have likely left many of your assets to your spouse, and you may have listed him or her as the executor, resulting in the need to update your will.

Decide What You Want to Leave to Your Spouse

During a divorce, some people wish to disinherit their partner from receiving anything in the event of their incapacitation or death. However, in the state of New York, spouses are unable to disinherit their spouses entirely. The only way to protect certain assets is with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. 

Find Out What Can be Changed

In some cases, spouses cannot make changes to certain documents. This may include a beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans, and a pension during the divorce. Sometimes, these have to stay put until a divorce is final, but the things that can be changed should be updated. 

Revisit the Plan After the Divorce is Finalized

Once a divorce is final, the estate plan should be looked over again so that any other details that need to be updated can be. Failure to do so can result in litigation and other unintended consequences.

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to update your estate plans. Contact our firm today to speak with an experienced attorney.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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