Going through a divorce can be stressful, but one thing that you should not forget about during these proceedings is your estate plan. It is critical that you update your plan after your divorce. In fact, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our Monmouth County estate planning attorney as soon as the divorce process begins.
When Should I Change My Estate Plan?
If you can, you should begin amending your estate plan as soon as divorce proceedings begin. We recommend this because your marriage is actually still in effect while your divorce is being negotiated. If something happens to you before your divorce is finalized, it is likely that your spouse will have control of everything regarding your estate.
Most people do not want this when they are going through a divorce. So make it a priority to schedule an appointment with our lawyers and begin to develop a new plan for how you want your assets and estate distributed.
What Do I Need to Change in My Estate Plan?
There are a few important things that you should definitely address when you are going through a divorce. We recommend that you:
Update power of attorney documents: Power of attorney gives someone the right to make choices for you in the event that you are incapacitated. Financial power of attorney gives someone control over your finances and medical power of attorney allows someone to make healthcare decisions for you. Many people designate these powers to their spouses. If you did that, you will want to update these documents and pick new agents right away.
Create a new will: You will probably also need to change your will. Most married couples name their spouse as the executor of their will and the main beneficiary. This is not an arrangement you will want to keep once divorce proceedings begin.
Choose new beneficiaries: Your spouse is probably the main beneficiary in your will. You can change all of your beneficiaries and ensure that your assets are distributed to the right people.
How Can an Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
Your estate planning lawyer can be of assistance here. They can:
- Use their unique background and knowledge of estate planning to ensure that all agreements are ironclad
- Make all changes legally in line with state divorce and estate planning laws
- Answer any questions that you have about the estate planning process
- Assist you with any changes you want to make to a trust
- Review your plan with you after your divorce is finalized
Updating your estate plan on your own can be tough enough. Trying to accurately amend one during divorce proceedings is even more difficult. Let our attorneys be of assistance.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you need help changing your estate plan, contact the Law Offices of George J. Mardinly. We can schedule a consultation and let you know more about how our experienced estate lawyers can help you.