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Divorcing? Don’t Forget to Update the Will . . .

Posted by David J. Kavanaugh | Sep 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

When couples divorce, they tend to focus on topics related to the end of the marriage. How will the assets and debts be divided? How will the children be parented? What will happen to the house? These are all very important questions that must be resolved. However, at Frost & Kavanaugh, we also encourage couples to consider how a divorce may have an impact on other important life decisions.

Update the Will

If you have a will, now is the time to update it to reflect your personal preferences. You may originally have written your will for your spouse to inherit in the event of your death. However, now your intentions may be different. As such, it is a good idea to modify your will to make certain your true wishes are known.

If you do not yet have a will, now is the time to consider one. Whether your situation is best suited for a will or a living revocable trust, we can help you make these important decisions. In a will or trust, you can make plans about who will care for your children and how your property will be passed on. If you don't have a plan in place at the time of your death, the government will make these decisions for you.

Update Incapacitation Documents

In the event you become incapacitated, it is a good idea to have someone designated as the person making decisions for you. Some essential documents to consider include the following.

  • Power of attorney – this identifies the person you want to make decisions for you regarding financial issues.
  • Health care proxy – a health care proxy's role is to make the end of life decisions you would make if you were not incapacitated. Everyone has their own ideas about quality of life. Identifying a health care proxy, and informing them of your views, provides a clear path if you are not able to express yourself at the time.
  • Living will – a living will is written for your treating physician and his or her medical team. In the event you are near death, your living will provides information on resuscitation and other live extending treatments. If you are unable to make the decision yourself because you are incapacitated, your living will tells your Health Care Proxy what to do.

Most people name their spouse as the person to make these decisions. Some divorcing couples continue to believe their soon-to-be ex-spouse is the best choice. However, others prefer to choose new decision makers.

If you do not have some or all of these types of documents, with the preferred actor properly identified, it is a good idea to create these now.

We Can Help

At Frost & Kavanaugh, we provide both divorce representation and estate planning services. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us to discuss your family law needs. We look forward to hearing from you. Call 518-283-3000.

About the Author

David J. Kavanaugh

Dave graduated from Siena College in 1986 with a B.A. in Political Science, and from Western New England School of Law in 1991 where he received his law degree.  He worked as an Albany County Probation Officer between college graduation and his entry into law school. Dave was admitted to practic...

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