Filing for Divorce? Make Sure You Update Your Estate Plan

People often ask, “When do I need to update my estate plan?” and the simplest answer is that we always recommend you check in with your estate planning attorney after a big life event, whether good or bad.  

Upon completion of a divorce, Florida law treats your ex-spouse as deceased for the purposes of your estate planning documents.  Your spouse won’t inherit under your will if you forget to update it, or collect your life insurance if you do not change your beneficiary.  Your ex also won’t be able to serve as your power of attorney upon completion of your divorce.

But what happens when you have filed for divorce, but are still married?   If you don’t update your estate plan:

  • Your “almost-ex” will inherit from you under Florida law if you do not have a will;
  • Your”almost-ex” will inherit anything that you give to them in a prior will or trust,
  • Your “almost-ex” will continue have have authority as your Agent under a power of attorney unless you revoke the power;
  • Your “almost-ex” will have priority in making health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so; and
  • Your “almost-ex” will have priority as your personal representative if you pass away.

If you are getting a divorce, it is important to consult with an estate planning attorney to prevent unwanted consequences.  Call an experienced Lavender Greenberg estate planning attorney at 786-832-4694 to discuss your plan of action.

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