It is crucial for all people who have an estate plan to update it after major life events. This can include situations of divorce. In preparing for a divorce, there are many ways that people can prepare their estate plan as well. Continue reading to learn more and contact an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney for guidance.
Update Your Health Care Proxy
No one can predict the future, which is why it is important to always be prepared for anything. This is because, in the event of a sudden accident or illness, a person can be in place to take care of your medical decisions. Married people tend to appoint their spouses as this individual. However, this should be changed to a new person when a divorce arises.
Change Your Power of Attorney
Similar to health care proxies, spouses often appoint one another as their powers of attorney. When a spouse is your durable power of attorney, they have access to all your accounts and assets. This should be updated to a new power of attorney to make sure they no longer have access.
Find Out What Can be Changed
Sometimes, spouses cannot change certain documents in the midst of a divorce. This may be for a beneficiary designation of life insurance, retirement accounts or plans, and a pension during the divorce. These may have to stay as is until the divorce is final. However, the things that can be changed should.
Update Your Will
Spouses facing a divorce should update their will to make sure their current partner is not in charge of their estate or its administration. This can be accomplished by removing them as their executor.
Decide What You Want to Leave to Your Spouse
Spouses are often tempted to disinherit their partners when facing a divorce. However, the state of Alabama has laws that prohibit a person from leaving their spouse without any assets. The only way certain assets can be protected is with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Amend Your Trust
If possible, a revocable trust should be amended. This is because these can contain assets and gifts made to the family. If you have underage children, you may want to name a trusted individual other than your spouse to maintain these assets in this trust. Otherwise, they will have control of the money for them after you die or become incapacitated.
Revisit the Plan After the Divorce is Finalized
After a divorce is finalized, your estate plan should be looked over once again. This is done to make sure that any missed details can be updated as well. Failure to do so can result in litigation and certain unintended consequences.
Contact our Firm
Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.