Four ways to prepare your estate plan before getting divorced

On Behalf of | May 21, 2021 | Divorce, Probate & Estate Planning |

Going through a divorce in Pennsylvania can be an understandably difficult time. Unfortunately, you could be going through even more difficulties without an estate plan in place. To help ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible, here are a few estate planning tips to follow while getting divorced.

Amend your will

Most marriages involve one party placing lots of trust in the other one. If you’re like most married couples, you trusted your spouse enough to place them in your will. Your ex-spouse might also be the current executor of your will, capable of controlling your estate. If either of these situations is true, consider removing your ex-spouse from your will right away.

Change your health care proxy

Unfortunately, accidents and other serious situations can happen to you at any time. If this happens, think about who would be making care-related decisions if you become incapacitated. Many estate plans list spouses as health care proxies. If you want this to change, name someone else as your proxy.

Make changes to your trust

Another thing to consider during a divorce is any living trust you might have created. If you amend your trust, it’s best to do this as quickly as possible. It’s also wise to see if any gifts are in place for your spouse’s family. You’ll also want to determine how to handle money left behind for your children and whether or not your spouse should be in charge of it.

Look at your estate plan post-divorce

It’s also important to know what probate & estate planning changes you are and aren’t allowed to make. You can run into problems, for instance, trying to change a pension plan beneficiary prior to a final divorce decree.  Depending on the split of your assets, certain changes to your estate plan can’t take effect until your divorce gets finalized.

To protect your interests in a divorce, it’s a good idea to have an estate plan. If you’re unsure about the state of your current estate plan, consider getting in touch with a probate lawyer. Doing this can help ensure you hold on to what matters during a divorce.

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