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Divorce and Its Impact on Your Estate Plan

In New York, during the divorce process, there are the “Automatic Orders”, which prevent you from changing your retirement documents and other estate planning documents.  However, once the divorce is final, then you should immediately change your retirement documents and your estate planning documents.

After the divorce is final, you need to consider the following Estate Planning documents:

WILLS: If you have a Will, then you must revise it so that your ex-spouse doesn’t inherit anything or is the Executor of your Will. If you do not have a Will, you should seriously consider getting one.

TRUSTS: If you have a Revocable Trust (or Revocable Living Trust) and your ex-spouse is listed in the Trusts documents, then you must amend or modify the Trust.

If you have an Irrevocable Trust, then depending on how your ex-spouse is named in the Trust, may determine if you can amend the Irrevocable Trust.  It is important to discuss this situation with an experienced Trust attorney.

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: While you were married, you probably named your ex-spouse as a designated beneficiary on your retirement accounts (IRAs, 401Ks etc.). Now that you are divorced, you must change those documents to reflect a new beneficiary.

INSURANCE POLICIES: Similar to retirement accounts, if you have any insurance policies that name your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, then you must change those insurance policies as well.

POWER OF ATTORNEY, HEALTH CARE PROXY, LIVING WILL: If you have any of these other estate planning documents and if they name your ex-spouse, then you will need to revoke those documents and/or modify them as well.

Although, your divorce might be final, in most cases, the work is not done. The Badanes Law Office can help you in modifying and taking care of your existing Estate Planning documents.

If you need an attorney to help you in your divorce, then call David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C.  The Badanes Law Office has the expertise to help you in your divorce and in your estate planning documents.  Their contact information is (631) 239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.  We can also meet clients at offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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David Badanes