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What to Know About Updating Your Estate Plans During a Divorce

What to Know About Updating Your Estate Plans During a Divorce

If you are getting a divorce, you are likely sorting out a lot of different aspects of your life. It is important that you update your estate plan to reflect the changes happening in your life. Read on to learn more about updating your estate plan during a divorce.

Update Your Health Care Proxy

Many people appoint their spouses to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event that they cannot make these decisions for themselves. If you have appointed your spouse and you are going through a divorce, you will likely want to update this. 

Change Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows another individual to make important legal decisions on your behalf. Spouses usually appointed one another as their powers of attorney. If a spouse is your durable power of attorney, they have access to all your accounts and assets. This should be revoked and a new power of attorney should be appointed. 

Update Your Will

If possible, your will should be updated to make sure your current spouse is not in charge of your estate. This can be accomplished by removing them as the executor. 

Decide What You Want to Leave to Your Spouse

Leading up to a divorce, spouses sometimes wish to disinherit their partner from receiving any assets. However, New York does not allow spouses to disinherit their partners or leave them only a small portion of the estate. The only way that assets can be protected is with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. 

Find Out What Can be Changed

Spouses are sometimes unable to change certain documents in the midst of a divorce. Some of the documents may include a beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans, and a pension during the divorce. Sometimes, these designations have to stay in place until a divorce is final. If they can be changed, it is important to do so.

Revisit the Plan After the Divorce is Finalized

It is important to look over the estate plan once again after a divorce is final. This ensures any missing details can be updated and nothing is overlooked. Failure to do so can result in litigation and possible unintended consequences.

If you are getting divorced, make sure to reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact our firm today to begin the process.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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