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Making a Fresh Start: Updating Your Estate Plan After Divorce

Divorce is an emotional and tumultuous time, affecting every aspect of your future. It overshadows your plans and goals as you dissolve your life as a married couple. Once your divorce is finalized, you can begin rebuilding your life. However, there is one more vital task to be considered, and that is to update your estate plan. While your estate plan may not be at the forefront of your mind, failure to update it could have dire consequences for you and your beneficiaries. 

You Must Act as Soon as Your Divorce is Finalized

More likely than not, when you initiated or revised your estate plan during your marriage, you probably named your spouse as your heir in your Will or Trust or as your designated beneficiary on your financial accounts in the event of your passing. Your spouse may be your personal representative in your Will or the successor trustee of your Trust. You may have named your spouse as your Healthcare Surrogate or your Power of Attorney. 

Under Florida’s default revocation-on- divorce statute, a former spouse is automatically terminated as a beneficiary after the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. A spouse’s authority as an agent in a Health Care Surrogate and Living Will is also terminated at that time. The exception to this law is the Power of Attorney.  Under Florida Statute 709.2109(2)(b), a spouse’s authority as a Power of Attorney agent terminates automatically upon filing for a divorce due to the obvious conflict of interest.

Considering who you will appoint for these roles and who you will choose as alternate agents and beneficiaries is vital. If you have an amicable divorce and wish for your former spouse to remain active in your estate plan, this must be clearly documented.

Comprehensive Legal Support for Your Divorce and Estate Planning Needs

At Doran Sims Wolfe & Yoon, we understand the emotional and legal complexities of divorce and its impact on your estate plan. A divorce significantly alters your circumstances. Since 1986, our law firm has fiercely protected our clients’ rights throughout the Daytona Beach, Florida community, and we stand ready to help you. If we have represented you in your divorce, you are already connected with our trusted and experienced estate planning law firm. If we did not represent you in your divorce, let us help you proactively safeguard your future and your loved ones.

Documents to Review, Amend, or Rewrite Post-Divorce

  • Last Will & Testament
  • Revocable Trust
  • Beneficiary Designations for Life Insurance Policies and IRA’s and 401(k)s
  • Health Care Surrogate and Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney

Removing the assets you lost in your divorce from your Will or Trust and adding any new assets you have gained since then is important. By taking these steps and revising all of your estate planning documents, you will accurately reflect your new financial situation and family dynamics.

Doran Sims Wolfe & Yoon: Trusted Estate Planning Attorneys in Volusia County, Florida

As life progresses, often our values and priorities shift. Your estate plan must be updated to reflect this and whenever a major life change occurs. It should align with your current wishes, protect your assets, and secure your children’s future. As laws governing estate plans change, staying compliant with legal standards is necessary. At Doran Sims Wolfe & Yoon, we offer personalized guidance and compassionate support in every stage and phase of your life. Contact Doran Sims Wolfe & Yoon to schedule an appointment for a Free 30-minute Consultation at our Daytona Beach, Florida, office at (386) 253-1111.