In life, divorce is an extremely difficult event that, unfortunately, many couples may go through. According to the American Psychological Association, at least 40-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. What many do not realize is “Gray Divorce” or the divorce of Americans over the age of 60, continues to steadily increase. While divorce is hard enough, the last thing you need is for your estate planning to fail when you need it most.
In many states, estate planning changes after you and your spouse get a divorce and your spouse may even be considered “dead” after your divorce. Florida is no exception. This leads to a possible scenario where no one is left to make serious decisions for you if the time were to come before you updated your planning. The key to success in this scenario is to know how to update your estate planning following a divorce.
Many couples choose their spouse as the agent under the durable power of attorney. This gives your spouse the ability to make decisions for you if you were to become incapacitated or unconscious. Once all of the boxes have been checked and your divorce is finalized, your spouse can no longer make decisions on your behalf. This may be a good thing for some, but, if you do not designate someone else to this position, it can become a sticky situation. This is why you need to name someone else as your agent under your durable power of attorney once your divorce is settled. You do not have to wait! If you are currently going through a divorce and no longer want your spouse as your agent, then you need to meet with your estate planning attorney to terminate this position and choose a new person to serve in this capacity as soon as possible.
Again, changing your Florida advance directives is the first step when going through a divorce. The next step of your estate planning that you need to consider is your revocable trust agreement. If you were planning on leaving part or all of your estate to your spouse before you decided to go through with a divorce, then there are major changes that you need to make as soon as possible.
Divorce is painful, and you will need to make many changes in your life. One of the most important changes will be to your estate planning documents. Make an appointment with your estate planning attorney to update your estate planning documents as soon as possible. Do not hesitate on this matter, there could be unwanted consequences! If you need advice on this issue, or any other, do not hesitate to contact our law firm.