So, You’re Getting Divorced? What You Need to Do About Your Estate Plan By: Jordan
It’s an understatement to say that divorce is a life changing event. Clearly, there are obvious legal challenges which are typically handled through your matrimonial attorney. You might have consulted with a real estate broker regarding living accommodations, and your accountant regarding tax ramifications. You should be talking to a financial advisor to help you in adjusting your investment and retirement strategies in light of the division of assets which will be taking place. But what about your estate planning documents?
If you don’t have basic estate planning documents in place, well it’s now more important than ever that you take care of that problem. But odds are that even if you had trusts, wills and other estate planning documents prepared in the past, they no longer reflect your current intentions in light of your divorce. Should your Ex still hold your Power of Attorney and be your Health Care Agent? Who should be the Guardian of your minor children in the event that you pass away? Do you still want your Ex to be the beneficiary of your life insurance policies or be the trustee of your trust? Most likely none of the above.
Furthermore, divorces can take some time…and during these months or years where your divorce is lingering in court, you may want to consult with your estate planning attorney to discuss available options for modifying your estate plan. You might be somewhat limited in the changes that you can effectively make during this time, but it’s important to be informed and prepared. Just be aware that if you are contacting the same attorney that previously represented you and your spouse when you were still married, this usually means a “joint representation” has occurred and that attorney may be obligated to inform your soon-to-be Ex that you are changing your documents (and that he/she might want to consider doing likewise).