Why You Need to Update Your Florida Estate Plan After You Get Divorced
When some people create their estate plan, they do not realize that this is not something they can just create and forget about. In fact, you should be reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis. Whether it’s every important life event that triggers you to look at it, or whether you automatically review your estate plan at scheduled intervals, the important thing is that you are reviewing it.
One of the best ways to ensure your estate plan is up to date is to work with an experienced West Palm Beach estate planning attorney. Your attorney can help make sure your estate plan is up to date after major life events, like a divorce.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons you need to update your estate plan after divorce.
Your Ex is Likely Still Listed as an Heir or Beneficiary
One of the most important reasons to update your estate plan after a divorce is that it is quite likely that your ex is listed as an heir or a beneficiary. In the event that you do not update your estate plan right after the divorce and something happens to you, your ex could be the one who winds up with a majority of your assets.
In most cases, you cannot change a beneficiary name while the divorce is pending. Your attorney in the divorce may be able to help you with an interim order that will allow you to make changes. It’s understandable that you don’t necessarily want your estranged partner to inherit anything of yours while the divorce is pending.
In some cases, your divorce settlement may address beneficiary status. You may have to wait until the divorce is finalized to be able to update the information. In some divorce cases, the court may give your ex a portion of an asset they are listed as a beneficiary on. You may not be able to remove them from the title without satisfying the terms of the court order.
Your Ex Might Have the Legal Right to Make Decisions for You
Do you have a power of attorney and/or any advance directives for your health care? If so, your ex is probably the person named on there. This is likely the last thing you want, especially if you had a messy and ugly divorce battle in court.
No one wants to think about dying, especially after you just went through a divorce. However, it’s important to create a checklist and think about all of the things that need to be done so you don’t inadvertently give your ex power and decision-making capacity you don’t want them to have.
Contact a West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney
If you need assistance setting up an estate plan, or making changes to your existing estate plan, let a knowledgeable West Palm Beach estate planning attorney assist. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation. If you are going through a divorce or getting ready to, it’s better to contact us now so we can help you make sure everything is changed immediately after your Florida divorce is finalized.