Considering Your Estate After Marriage

Before you get married, a lot of legal documents are solely in your spouse's name and vice versa. But after marriage, that changes. Bank accounts are merged, and you and your spouse add each other as beneficiaries to life insurance and retirement accounts.

While most people only think about updating their estate planning documents after marriage, it's important to make the same updates after a divorce as well. At Michelle A. Barry, P.A., our background in family law and estate planning gives us the unique ability to provide comprehensive assistance to individuals after divorce proceedings. Whether this includes legally changing one's name or more extensive work on an estate plan, we are here to help you get your affairs in order in the event your marriage ends.

Getting Your Affairs Back In Order

Under Florida law, the beneficiary named in your estate plan as well as on your retirement accounts and life insurance policy has the right to these assets unless a final divorce decree is entered.

While a divorce decree effectively voids a beneficiaries' right to your assets, failing to obtain a final divorce decree — either because of procrastination or by sudden death before a final decree is entered — could mean that your ex-spouse unintentionally gets your assets.

This is why it's important to get started with the revision of your estate planning documents as soon as possible. Until you do, the documents with your former spouse's name on them are still in effect and any authority given by those documents remains intact.

What Documents Need To Be Updated?

To make sure your benefits, retirement accounts and estate planning documents accurately represent your end-of-life wishes, contact our firm. We help clients after divorce with issues such as:

  • Wills and trusts — Including redrafting and minor changes to beneficiaries
  • Living wills and advanced medical directives — Ensuring the right people are making the right decisions about your health care in the event you become incapacitated
  • Powers of attorney — Eliminating your ex-spouses chances of wreaking havoc on your finances in the event of sudden illness or death by updating your power of attorney

Schedule Your Initial Consultation

If you have questions about the updates you need to make to your estate plan or other legal documents after getting a divorce, then talk to lead attorney Michelle A. Barry. During an initial consultation, you can discuss your options as well as your concerns.

To schedule a reduced-rate consultation, call our office in Longwood, Florida, at 407-622-4529 (toll free 888-351-8303) or send us an email. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment.

A free 15-minute initial telephone consultation is available to discuss your case. Email documents to us prior to a call for the most beneficial use of your time. In-person consultations are available at a reduced rate that will be put toward a retainer. We accept all major credit cards for your convenience.