Updating Your Estate Plan After a Divorce in New York

Going through a divorce is both emotionally and financially taxing for spouses. Oftentimes throughout the process, significant changes are made to each party’s financial status. This is usually the result of the division of assets between the both of them. When these changes happen, they can have an impact on an individual’s estate plan. It is because of this that, if you have filed for a divorce, it is important to consider reflecting these changes in your estate plan. When dealing with these matters, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced New York estate planning attorney for guidance.

Why Would I Need to Update My Estate Plan?

A person’s spouse is usually not only a beneficiary to their estate plan but is also often in charge of handling its administration. They also tend to be the individual’s health care proxy. In addition to this, spouses tend to have jointly-held assets such as wills or joint living trusts. Spouses usually do not want this to remain after they are no longer married, which is why it is important for them to update their estate plan. In doing so, they can ensure their former spouse is no longer tied to them in these ways. 

What Documents Need to be Updated?

When taking the steps to revise an estate plan, it is important to know that there are certain documents that need to be updated. This can include the following:

  • Trust agreements
  • Life insurance
  • Last will and testament
  • Advanced directive
  • Power of attorney

What Can Happen if I Do Not Update My Plan?

When a person fails to update their estate plan after a divorce, their former spouse is still tied to their finances and assets. This can keep the former spouse in a position of authority in the individual’s life and also allow them to benefit from the estate plan. For example, the former spouse can inherit any assets in the event of the individual’s death instead of them going to the deceased’s children. In addition to this, if the individual becomes incapacitated for any reason throughout their life, the former spouse may be left in charge of making important life and health decisions for them. These matters should be left in the hands of current loved ones in a person’s life, not someone from the past who is no longer close to them. It is because of this that it is crucial to update your estate plan to ensure the protection of both you and your assets.

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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