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Updating Your Estate Plans After a Divorce | What to Know

Married couples often plan for their futures together. This means that in the event of a divorce, you may need to update your estate plans to account for this new chapter of your life. Read on to learn more about what documents you may need to update in the event of a divorce.

Update Your Will

Your will is an incredibly important document. In fact, it may be one of the most important estate planning documents you can create. Your will declares how your estate will be divided in the event of your passing. Often, married couples create their wills together, leaving the majority of their assets to each other. In the event of a divorce, this will likely need to be updated.

Update Your Advance Healthcare Directive

When it comes to healthcare, everyone has different opinions and beliefs. As a result, it is important that your own wishes are expressed in the event that you cannot voice them. An advance healthcare directive allows you to determine your end-of-life care in the event that you become incapacitated or you are no longer of sound mind. Additionally, you can appoint someone to make these decisions for you. If you have appointed your spouse, you may want to choose another close friend or family member to take on this responsibility.

Change Your Power of Attorney

When you create a power of attorney, you give someone the right to make legal decisions on your behalf. This may give the individual the option to pay your bills, make bank deposits/withdrawals, obtain medical records, file tax returns, buy or sell property, hire caretakers, transfer assets to trusts, and more. This is a lot of power, and it is important to ensure that this responsibility is in the right hands. If you have given your spouse power of attorney, it may be necessary to update this.

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, 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 so you can update your plans accordingly.

If you are getting divorced, you will need to update your estate plans. Our firm is here to help you with all of your estate planning matters. Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney.


Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.