Things to Consider About Your Wills & Trusts When Divorcing

Divorce may not only be an immediate lifestyle change, but may also affect your will and / or trust.

Things to Consider About Your Wills & Trusts When Divorcing 

By the time you read this, it has already been concluded that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences and that there is nothing else to do except file for a divorce. Filing for divorce will create many new changes in your life. However, many persons filing for divorce, recently divorced, or who have been divorced for many years may not have considered updating their will(s) and / or trust(s). Although Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, based in North Andover, MA specializes in family law (including, but not limited to divorce, mediation, modification, child custody and paternity) and not estate planning, we would like you to consider the following if you have a will and / or trust:

1. Who is your healthcare proxy?

Most of the time, one would choose their spouse as their primary person to handle one's medical needs in the untimely event where you find yourself at the ER or ICU and may need life support. Would you still want these matters decided by your former spouse after your divorce is finalized?

2. Who is your power of attorney?

If you do not have a healthcare proxy, chances are you may have a power of attorney, or "POA." Sometimes a POA is used for medical reasons as aforementioned. However, sometimes a POA is used to designate who is in charge of bank accounts and other assets including, but not limited to, cars, jewelry, time share, etc. You should appoint a new power of attorney once the divorce is finalized.

3. Who is your beneficiary?

Often time you have life insurance, retirement plans, and other financial strategies through work and your ex-spouse is listed as the beneficiary. In the event that you are deceased before your ex-spouse and have yet to update the beneficiary information, your ex-spouse will still receive any or all of those benefits to which he/she is named.

4. Do you disinherit your spouse?

Do you leave nothing for your ex-spouse or do you leave something for him or her? That is ultimately up to you, but be sure to check every detail that may be in your will and trust that "customizes" your estate plan. Often time, especially when there are children involved, the ex-spouses carry a life insurance policy until the children are emancipated.

5. Do you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

A divorce attorney would be the most appropriate professional to contact if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in existence. The prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is not an estate planning document, however, it will be very important in negotiating your divorce as it should contain all essential terms for a divorce. You must review your agreement before the divorce.

6. When should you amend your will and / or trust?

At some point you will finally amend your will and / or trust. Every situation is unique and you should therefore speak with a divorce attorney as well as an estate planning attorney to determine when to change your estate planning documents. In some instances, you may not be able to update / amend / change your will and / or trust until your divorce is finalized.

About the Firm

Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, based in North Andover, MA, not only serves North Andover, MA, but also Andover, MA, Methuen, MA, Boxford, MA, and West Boxford, MA and surrounding areas, furthermore, is licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  The law firm was recently recognized as a “Best Law Firm” from US. News & World Report for 2019, for 3 years in a row.  If you are considering divorce, or have other family law-related concerns such as child custody, mediation / arbitration, modifications, pre-nuptial / post-nuptial, and paternity matters, consider contacting Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law.

For more information and to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney in Andover, MA, please visit our website. To learn more about the U.S. News & World Report of Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law, click here .

For a family law and divorce consultation in North Andover, MA, 
contact us at Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law

(978) 681-5454

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