As a Marietta divorce lawyer, I know that getting a divorce in Georgia can be an overwhelming process. There are so many decisions to make and things to do that it’s hard to keep everything straight. And as a Marietta estate planning lawyer, I also know there is one thing that divorcing couples must remember to do—and that is getting your will or trust updated.
Forgetting about your estate plan is understandable from any perspective. You’re so busy thinking about living arraignments, finances and custody agreements that you simply forget to contact an estate planning lawyer to make sure your spouse will no longer be the beneficiary of your estate once the divorce is final.
And while I admit estate planning is easy to overlook, it’s still something that must be taken care of either before you file or immediately after your divorce is complete.
This is especially true if you have a life insurance policy, retirement accounts, investments, property or even a joint trust with your current spouse. If you fail to take steps to create a single person trust or designate new beneficiaries on your other assets, your ex-spouse will still receive everything you own—even after you are legally divorced.
Similarly, if you don’t create an updated power of attorney and living will, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will be the only one with legal permission to make decisions for you if you are permanently or temporarily incapacitated. For most people, the thought of their soon-to-be ex making decisions such as medication administration, life-support or nursing home vs. home health care is frightening. Also, the ex most likely does not want that responsibility any longer. That is why it is critical to get these issues addressed at some point before or after the divorce proceedings.
However, there are strict time-frames as to when you can update/amend your estate planning documents during a divorce in Georgia, so please make yourself familiar with the following guidelines.
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Family Law Updates, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates
DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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