How Does Getting Divorced Impact Your Estate Plan?

It’s fair to say that getting divorced is a life-altering experience. Once the judge signs your divorce decree, your marriage is over, and all of the work you put into ending it finally pays off. You’ve got a new lease on life, and it’s time to make the most of it!

But, before you consign your marriage to the history books, there are a few lingering issues you need to address. One of these is making sure that your life plan still reflects your wishes.

Getting Divorced: What Does it Mean for Your Life Plan?

So, how does getting divorced impact your life plan? Under Section 732.507(2) of Florida Statutes, “Any provision of a will executed by a married person that affects the spouse of that person shall become void upon the divorce of that person or upon the dissolution or annulment of the marriage. After the dissolution, divorce, or annulment, the will shall be administered and construed as if the former spouse had died at the time of the dissolution, divorce, or annulment of the marriage unless the will or the dissolution or divorce judgment expressly provides otherwise.” In non-legalese, the law will view your now ex-spouse as being deceased.

Similar provisions exist in other Sections of the Florida statutes with regard to trusts, beneficiary designations for bank and retirement accounts, health care surrogates, and powers of attorney.

While this is helpful for ensuring that your former spouse does not automatically retain the rights granted by your life plan, as stated in Section 732.502(2), the effect of getting divorced is that your will is administered, “as if [your] former spouse had died at the time of [your divorce].” The same applies to your other life-planning documents as well under the other applicable provisions of Florida law. While this may result in your life plan being administered as you desire, this will not necessarily be the case.

Based on these considerations, most Florida residents will still find it necessary to update their life plans after getting divorced.

Updating Your Life Plan After Your Divorce

Updating your life plan after your divorce does not have to be a major undertaking, but it does have to be done. In fact, in many cases, making the necessary modifications will be a fairly straightforward process. You already did all of the heavy lifting when you put your life plan together; so, unless you want to make other changes that are not related specifically to your divorce, you most likely already have the necessary framework in place. You will simply need to decide whose name(s) you want to substitute for your spouse’s, re-sign your documents, and move forward.

We say “simply,” but it is important to emphasize that the decisions you make when you update your life plan should not be taken lightly. When it comes to how you want to distribute assets and who you want making decisions on your behalf, you need to give these decisions the time and consideration they deserve. If you want help thinking through your options, schedule a consultation today.

Speak with Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer Mark F. Moss

Did you recently get divorced? If so, give our office a call at 904-329-7242 or send us an email to discuss updating your life plan.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Law Offices of Mark F. Moss, PLLC, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.