Divorce is the most stressful part of any marriage. Not only is divorce an emotional process, but it can also be a financially taxing one, if not handled correctly. Oftentimes, people are so swept up in the emotional aspect of divorce that certain aspects of their finances are neglected as a result. However, most major life shifts, especially financial ones, can have a significant impact on your estate plan. This is why if you have filed for divorce, you are most likely wondering what to do with your estate plan since you now wish to redirect certain assets. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some of the questions you may have:
Why would I update my estate plan following a divorce?
After filing for divorce, there is a good chance you no longer want your former spouse to be a beneficiary of your assets, so you may wish to update your estate plan to better reflect your current marital status. Additionally, you may have jointly-held assets with your former spouse, such as reciprocal wills or Joint Living Trusts. Sometimes, you may have even appointed your spouse to important decision-making positions within your estate plan, which, rather obviously, should now be adjusted accordingly.
Which estate plan documents will need updating following a divorce?
If you are ready to update your estate plan, here are some of the documents that will need revising:
- Trust agreements
- Life insurance
- Last will and testament
- Advanced directive
- Power of attorney
Our knowledgeable firm would be happy to assist you throughout the revision process, as we know the importance of ensuring your assets are one day distributed exactly as you intended.
What will happen if I do not update my estate plan after getting a divorce?
If you fail to update your estate plan following a divorce, your former spouse will get your assets upon your death, instead of, say, your child or another loved one. Additionally, and perhaps more frighteningly, your former spouse may still retain agency in your Health Care Power of Attorney, which will allow him or her to make serious healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated to do so at the time. Wouldn’t you far rather rest that power in a loved one, such as a trusted son or daughter? Please, do not wait any longer–contact one of our compassionate estate planning attorneys now to update the terms of your estate to better suit your current situation–years from now, you’ll be happy you did.
Contact our experienced Maryland firm
The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.