Updating an Estate Plan After a Divorce in New Jersey

Many people create an estate plan at some point in their life to prepare for what will happen to their assets when they die. These plans can be updated at any point to allow for modifications in the event of any major changes in a person’s life. Often times, this is done when people get married, have children, receive an inheritance, etc. Another important time in a person’s life when they should update their estate plan is after a divorce. When doing so, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an experienced attorney to ensure your assets are safe.

Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

Just as people can be added to an estate plan, people can be removed as well. This is important to do in situations such as divorce. Often times, a person’s estate plan reflects their marital status. Those who are married usually name their spouse as a beneficiary in their estate plan. This means they are able to inherit each other’s assets or jointly hold assets. There are also many cases in which a spouse is named as a power of attorney. This allows them to make important decisions for their significant other if they are unable to do so themselves. 

Spouses who go through a divorce should update their estate plan as soon as possible when the proceedings are over. Documents that may need to be updated can consist of a last will and testament, a trust agreement, life insurance policies, power of attorney, advanced care directives, and more. 

What are the Consequences of Not Updating My Plan?

It is common knowledge that the process of going through a divorce is not easy. Often times, these processes can be complex and emotionally exhausting for people. However, when it is over, it is crucial for former spouses to take the extra step into updating their estate plan. This allows them to reflect the changes in their marital status in the event that something were to happen to them. This should be done as soon as possible because people usually do not want their former spouses to inherit their assets or be in charge of their health decisions. By updating their estate plan right after their divorce, a person can ensure their assets are protected and their spouse is not involved in their future estate plans. 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.