Getting Divorced: Why Change Your Will And Other Estate Planning Documents?

If you are getting divorced or are recently divorced, you most likely need to change your Will and other estate planning documents. The following is a list of the Estate Planning Documents that you need to review and most likely change.

Your Will:

It is extremely important to change your Will or to make sure you that have one. In New York, it is important to know that until your divorce is final, your spouse is entitled to approximately one-third of your estate.

Most people will list their spouse as the executor of their estate. If you are getting divorced, you do not want your ex-spouse to be your executor.

Also, many Wills will have a built-in Trust, you probably do not want your ex-spouse to be the Trustee of any Trusts.

Any Trusts:

As stated above, you should remove your ex-spouse as a Trustee under any Trusts you may have. In addition, if your Trust leaves any money towards your ex-spouse, you probably want to change that as well.

However, if you have an irrevocable trust, then you might not be able to change it. An irrevocable trust, with very few exceptions, is irrevocable and cannot be changed the minute it is signed. This is why an irrevocable trust should state, in the document itself, that if there is a divorce, the beneficiary is not your ex-spouse.

Power of Attorney:

This is another estate planning document that you should have and that you should change upon a divorce. A Power of Attorney gives your agent – which in most cases, you named your spouse – the ability to make financial decisions.

Living Will and Health Care Proxy:

Finally, you should change your Health Care Proxy and Living Will to name someone besides your ex-spouse as your health care agent.

The Badanes Law Office and David Badanes has helped hundreds of clients in obtaining their divorce. David Badanes also helps clients in Estate Planning and in drafting Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Living Wills and Health Care Proxies.

The Badanes Law Office services clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County and in New York City.  If you are thinking of getting a divorce, or changing your attorney, then call the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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