Klenk Law

Getting divorced? Three Estate Planning Documents to Immediately Change.

Posted on Thu Mar 10, 2016, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing

Most Recently Updated August 6, 2018.

“My Wife filed for divorce in Gloucester County, NJ. What estate planning documents should I change to protect myself?”

Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing.

Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing.

Three Important Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing.

Once your marriage begins to unravel, here is three estate planning document you should change immediately.

1. Durable Power of Attorney.

Durable General Power of Attorney: During the divorce process, who do you wish to handle your financial decisions, pay your bills or even negotiate your divorce should you become incapacitated? If you have already given your spouse this power, it is time to change your Durable General Power of Attorney.  Or, if you have never signed one, it is time for you to select who should protect you.  Who speaks for you if you are unable to speak?

2. Medical Power of Attorney, Health Care Declaration or Living Will.

Medical Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will: Should you have a medical emergency during your divorce and be unable to speak for yourself, your spouse is still the person the law recognizes as having the default power to make your medical decisions. Given that you are getting a divorce, you likely would prefer to name someone else. Signing a new Medical Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will allows you to select a neutral and friendly person who can represent your wishes.

3. Updating Your Will.

Last Will and Testament: If you have a Will that gives your assets to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you likely will wish to name new heirs. If you have no Will, the Rules of Intestacy will probably give much, if not all, of your assets to your spouse.  These rules apply until you are divorced. If you have an old Will, it likely gives much if not all of your estate to your spouse. Both are reasons to update your Will.  Name a neutral Executor.  Let’s craft a new Will that reflects your real wishes.  If you have children, your new Will can create trusts and appoint a friendly Trustee.

For more information, See my Article, “Three Essential Estate Planning Documents; Everything You Need to Know.”

There Might Be More, Depending on Your Circumstances.

These are the three top documents you should immediately consider changing if your marriage is ending.  But there might be others.  Other changes might be needed depending on your particular circumstances, assets or your children’s ages.

See my website for more information about Estate Planning and Divorce: Everything You Need To Know.

More Planning Questions?

Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining Estate Planning Documents to Change When Divorcing. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Divorce, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Gloucester County, Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney, New Jersey, Peter Klenk, Power of Attorney, Wills

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