Ending a marriage is never easy. Aside from the emotional trauma and heartbreak of having to dissociate with an ex-loved one, the numerous decisions you’ll have to make to facilitate the process makes divorce even harder. And also, you may have to review and alter your estate plan for your best interest. Below, we have highlighted 8 estate planning moves to make if you are getting divorced.
Estate Planning Moves if you are getting divorced
- Update your health care proxy:
If you slip and fell and developed a severe injury that lands you in the ICU, who will make those important health care decisions on your behalf? It is possible that you named your spouse decision maker, and that needs to change when you are in the midst of a divorce.
- Change your power of attorney
A power of attorney allows you to designate an individual who’ll be in charge of making crucial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Again, if you named your spouse as the decision maker in your power of attorney, you’ll need to change that.
- Look for what you can and cannot change
In most states, there are some things you cannot alter, such as the beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans ( like your 40lk), including pension during divorce. Those designations cannot be altered until the divorce is finalized.
- Update your will
Updating your will is another important move to make. Did you designate your spouse as the estate executor? What about guardianship of minor children? You most likely will not be able to stop your current spouse from being the guardian of your children upon your death. But, you can designate an alternate guardian.
- Decide what to leave your spouse
Do you want to leave your spouse out from your will? If you do, he or she would have the right to contest. You need to consider this when making the decision on what to leave your spouse. Ensure you contact a good estate planning attorney for advice.
- Review your prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement
If you have a prenuptial agreement, your divorce lawyer hopefully examined it in light of your divorce (if this didn’t happen, consider new counsel). Ensure you also scrutinize the document to see what you spouse is entitled to if you pass on.
- Amend your trust
If your state allows you to alter your revocable trust, do it quickly. If you designated your spouse as a beneficiary in the trust, you may want to change that. If there are gifts for her family, you may want to change that as well.
- Review the plan after the divorce is finalized
At the end of the divorce, ensure you review your estate plan and see what needs to be changed after the divorce. You can either do this alone or with the help of an estate planning attorney. Also, don’t ignore those beneficiary designation to avoid any form of litigation.
Need an estate planning attorney?
Due to the complexities that surrounds the estate planning process, you may need the services of an estate planning attorney. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you should be able to not only plan your estate but update the plan later in the future.
An estate planning attorney can also offer you and your family valuable advice that could end up being a lifesaver. In addition, he can help in setting up various important legal estate planning documents like a power of attorney, healthcare directives, a living trust, etc.
If you want to plan your estate, and you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, please, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you need help with updating your estate plan, you can contact our office as well. We boast of competent estate planning attorney who can help in creating an estate plan that suits your needs