How Do I Prepare My Estate Plan While Going Through a Divorce?

When two people get married, they join their lives together. So, when getting a divorce, they must untangle their lives. If you are getting divorced, it is imperative that you update your estate plans. You likely planned your estate around your marriage, involving your spouse. You will likely need to make a lot of changes when it comes to your estate plan in the event of a divorce. Read on to learn more about the updates you should make.

Update Your Health Care Proxy

A health care proxy is an incredibly important document. It will allow you to determine your end-of-life care and allow you to appoint someone to make these decisions on your behalf if you can no longer. During a marriage, most people appoint their spouse. However, in situations of divorce, this should be updated to a different person.

Change Your Power of Attorney

At some point in a marriage, spouses may have appointed powers of attorney. If a spouse is your durable power of attorney, it means they have access to all accounts and assets while you are competent. It is important to revoke this power and make sure a new power of attorney is appointed. 

Find Out What Can be Changed

There are some cases in which spouses are unable to change certain documents. This may include a beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans, and a pension during the divorce. Sometimes, these designations have to stay in place until a divorce is final. You should speak with an estate planning attorney to find out more about what can and cannot be changed in the event of your divorce. 

Update Your Will

It is important to update a will to make sure your current spouse is not in charge of your estate. This can be changed by removing them as the executor and appointing a different family member or friend.

Decide What You Want to Leave to Your Spouse

Spouses that are going through a divorce sometimes may want to disinherit their partner from receiving anything. However, California is a “community property state.” This means all assets acquired during the marriage are owned equally by both spouses. It is because of this that Californians cannot completely disinherit their spouses. The only way to protect certain assets is through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. 

If you are getting divorced, reach out to an estate planning attorney to make sure your estate plan is updated.

Contact our Firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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