How Does A Florida Divorce Affect Your Estate Plan?
You know that you have a lot to think about if you are in the process of ending your marriage. You may be worried that you will lose custody of your child, or that your spouse will be able to keep the assets that are most important to you. You have also likely wondered what your new life will look like post-divorce. These are all legitimate concerns and it is natural to have them.
The concerns you have when going through a divorce are valid and they are many. It is easy to overlook your estate plan during this difficult time, but doing so is a mistake. Updating your estate plan during the divorce process is critical, so you can make the necessary changes to it that will ensure your wishes are fulfilled.
Florida Law on Divorce and Estate Plans in General
All Family Law Group, P.A. does not practice in estate planning. However, we have included general information on divorce and estate plans. Notably, state law governs most aspects of estate plans. After a family law judge has issued a divorce decree, your divorce is final. At this time, the probate courts will presume that your spouse passed away at the time of divorce. Due to this presumption, if you named your spouse as a beneficiary, they will not receive any of your estate even if you have not changed your estate plan. Instead, your estate will be subject to the intestacy laws of the state. While your former spouse will not receive any of your property if you pass away, your heirs may also not receive the inheritance you intended to leave them.
Due to the fact that state law may not distribute your assets to your beneficiaries as you wish, it is important to update your estate plan as soon as you know you are getting divorced; however, once you file for divorce, you will normally receive a Court Order not to make any changes until your divorce is final. If you were able to update the estate plan prior to filing and receipt of the Order when it is dated, then you could make the changes you desire.
Estate Planning Checklist
There are many elements of your estate plan you may need to change during the divorce process. These include:
- Your will
- Any trusts you have created
- Your health care surrogate, power of attorney, and your living will
- Titles on vehicles
- Beneficiaries on retirement accounts and life insurance policies
- Correct property titles for your home in your will
- Titles on all financial accounts
- Revoke any previous wills and other estate planning documents
An estate planning lawyer can review the above documents with you to determine what changes you need to make.
Our Tampa Divorce Lawyers Can Counsel You on How to Proceed with Your Estate Planning
At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa divorce lawyers can provide the sound legal advice you need about all elements of your divorce and the far-reaching implications it may have on your estate planning documents. We can also recommend an estate planning attorney to help you with your estate planning after divorce. If you are ending your marriage, call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation of your case and to obtain the legal counsel you need.