Getting a divorce is one of the life events during which an estate plan should be reviewed. Kentucky residents should make certain that they are able to meet any legal obligations they may have toward their spouse while maintaining as much control as they can over their assets so that the management of their assets will be in line with their preferences should they become incapacitated or die.
One of the legal documents they should review is their health care proxy. People in the middle of a divorce may not want their soon-to-be-ex-spouse to have the authority to make life or death medical decisions on their behalf. The financial power of attorney should also be updated. For people who cannot locate it, they should ask the attorney who drafted the document to provide a copy. If a spouse was given durable power of attorney, or the full access to all of the principal’s assets and accounts, the principal should have that power of attorney revoked and a new one executed, notifying the spouse of the revocation.
There are some aspects of an estate plan that cannot be altered. In the majority of states, individuals will be unable to modify the beneficiary designations on life insurance policies pensions or retirement plans or accounts, as the law typically requires that the designations remain the same until the finalization of the divorce. When a complaint is filed for a divorce, an automatic restraining order is usually placed on the parties’ assets.
A family law attorney may work to protect the rights of clients during a divorce. The attorney may discuss strategies for obtaining the desired settlement terms unless litigation becomes necessary.