How Marriage, Divorce And Relocation Affect Estate Planning

Major life changes such as marriage, the dissolution of marriage, relocation and the death of a loved one have major effects upon three of your most important personal documents: your will, durable power of attorney and choice of health care surrogate after any major life change.

After any major life event, it's a good idea to review these documents and make changes to fit your new circumstances, such as changing the person you designated to handle your finances or make medical decisions on your behalf if the worst should happen. If your major life event is the dissolution of your marriage, consider updating your will sooner rather than later to avoid issues involving your estate and your ex-spouse that will likely end up in probate proceedings.

At Michelle A. Barry, P.A., we believe in providing guidance and support to families who are facing difficult legal challenges. Whether we're handling a family law matter, an estate planning issue or a combination of the two, you can trust our counsel. Retain our services today.

Be The One To Make The Decisions About Your Property

While Florida does have intestate succession laws, which are a basic plan for distributing your assets when you die, a will is necessary to protect your family by helping to reduce potential taxes, which can give you peace of mind. A good estate plan is designed for the conservation and distribution of your estate. An effective estate plan minimizes taxes and accomplishes your goals efficiently.

When you die, an estate plan allows your property to be distributed with minimal administrative costs. The sooner an estate plan is made, the more effective it can be.

Make Living And Financial Arrangements For Your Children

Each parent of a minor child should absolutely have a will. In addition to determining who gets what, wills can be used to determine who becomes a guardian of your children in the event of your death. It can even provide financial support for a child with special needs. Although it may feel strange to consider planning for your own demise, you owe it to your children to spare them the legal battles that could ensue if you don't make these decisions now.

Take Control Of Your Medical Wishes And Finances If The Worst Should Happen

A designation of a health care surrogate, also known as a health care proxy or an advance directive, lets you identify who will make medical decisions for you should you be unable to communicate with health care providers.

A durable power of attorney designates who'll handle money decisions for you in the event of your incapacity. If you have a will and then get divorced, your divorce may have invalidated part or all of your will, so at the very least you'll need a new one. You'll want to designate a new durable power of attorney and health care surrogate if you gave these designations to your former spouse.

The Law Office Of Michelle A. Barry, P.A., Can Help

As long as you are deemed competent, the state of Florida will allow you to make changes to an estate plan at any time. In fact, everyone is encouraged to make regular updates to their estate plans — not just after major life events — to make sure that everything is in accordance with the law as well as your end-of-life wishes.

For help making changes to your estate planning documents, talk to attorney Michelle A. Barry at our firm. Her personalized approach and attention to detail mean you will get an estate plan that is not only tailored to your specific situation but meets your needs in every way.

To schedule an initial consultation at our Longwood office or to retain our services, call 407-622-4529 (toll free 888-351-8303) or send us an email. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment. We accept all major credit cards for your convenience.