Revising Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce

Revising Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce

The Importance of Updating an Estate Plan

When going through a divorce, revising your will and other important estate documents may be the last thing on your mind. Leaving your estate plan “as is” post-divorce could leave a loophole for your ex-spouse to gain your assets if he or she was the original beneficiary. Here are a few steps to take to ensure your wishes will be carried out in the event of your death or incapacitation.

Revoke Your Old Will

It may be best to toss your old will and begin from scratch. While you can create a will yourself, hiring an attorney is the soundest way to ensure it is done correctly, legally, and honors any obligations you may have to your former spouse, as said in your divorce agreement.

If you left everything to your former spouse in your previous will, you would want to consider who to:

  • Leave property to.
  • Name as a guardian to young children (if you have any).
  • Name as an executor of your estate.

Update Your Beneficiaries

Your will determines who you leave your most valuable assets to, but some assets could have been left outside of your will, and you may want to add things like family heirlooms or other items. Remember to also update any beneficiaries for:

  • Life insurance policies.
  • Retirement accounts.
  • Pay-on-death bank accounts.
  • Transfer-on-death brokerage accounts.

To update the above-mentioned documents, you will have to request the proper forms from the company you opened the account through (insurance company, employer, etc.).

Besides these accounts, your beneficiaries can inherit any businesses, properties, and physical assets (jewelry, decor, etc.) you may own. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act says that your beneficiary named will get your assets, regardless of what state law says.

Designate a New Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney gives whomever you name to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated. This can be two separate people, one for medical decisions and one for financial, or they can be the same person. If you have granted this status to your former spouse, you would want to revoke them and create new documents.

The financial power of attorney allows someone to oversee all of your financial decisions, from selling the property to managing your bank accounts. The healthcare power of attorney grants someone the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf, such as surgeries or taking you off life support.

Need to Update Your Estate Plan? Owenby Law, P.A. Can Help.

Ensuring your estate plan is executed according to your wishes means that it must be done properly under the rules of estate laws in Florida. Whether you need to update an existing estate plan or are seeking one for the first time, having an experienced estate planning attorney assist you can make all the difference.

If you are ready to get started on your estate plan, we are prepared to help. Our Jacksonville estate planning attorneys will guide you through the process and answer your questions to ease your concerns about keeping your heirs protected.

Contact Owenby Law, P.A. today at (904) 770-3141 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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