If you are getting divorced, you likely have a lot on your mind. But, it is important to prioritize your estate plan. You likely included your ex in your estate plan in a number of ways and it is important to update your plans as soon as possible.
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. Be sure to alter the documents that you are able to.
Decide What You Want to Leave to Your Spouse
In the state of New York, spouses are unable to disinherit their spouses entirely. Speak with an attorney to find out what you legally must leave your ex-spouse.
Update Your Will
Your will 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. You should update your will right away and choose a new executor.
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. 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.
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 have any questions or concerns about estate planning during a divorce, reach out to our firm today.
Contact Our Firm
Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.