WLG On Our Mind

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Filing for Divorce in San Diego? Why Updating Your Estate Plan is Crucial

Going through a divorce is an emotionally charged, challenging process. Amid the whirlwind of legal proceedings, contacting an estate planning attorney might not be at the top of your to-do list—but it should be.

A divorce, often referred to as dissolution of marriage, can stretch over many months, sometimes even years. During this period, it's vital to reassess what would happen to your assets, or even yourself, should you become incapacitated or pass away before the divorce is finalized.

What Happens If You Don't Update Your Estate Plan?

Without an updated estate plan in the face of a looming divorce, your soon-to-be-ex may still be entitled to everything outlined in your existing estate plan, or as decided by the courts as if all was wonderful in paradise if no estate plan is in place.

For example, if medical decisions needed to be made for you and your estranged partner remains as your Advance Directive (medical power of attorney) healthcare agent, they would have control over your medical decisions.  Do you still trust them to make medical care decisions that reflect your wishes and best interests? Similarly, if they have power over your finances and you become incapacitated, the outcome might not be in your favor.

Shared Trusts and Inheritance

Matters can get complicated if you and your spouse are co-trustees on various trusts or accounts. In case of your incapacitation, your spouse could access, use, or even sell properties against your silented desires. They could even take out loans without your consent.

Or, if you have inherited or are set to inherit assets from your parents and pass away before the divorce is finalized, your inheritance could pass directly to your estranged spouse.

The Impact on Minor Children

For those with minor children, an outdated estate plan can lead to unintended consequences. Without an updated plan, the courts will likely place your ex in charge of any money or other property left to your children.

Protecting Your Interests: Work With an experienced San Diego Estate Planning Attorney

As you navigate through a divorce, it's prudent to consult with an estate planning attorney. They can provide crucial advice on your vulnerabilities, helping you revoke appropriate documents within court-mandated timeframes and contact institutions to ensure they're aware of these changes.

If you're filing for divorce in San Diego, don't overlook the importance of updating your estate plan. I and my experienced estate planning staff are ready to help protect your interests, ensuring that you're not caught off-guard in this challenging life transition.  Simply contact us at (619) 281-1888 to schedule a consultation.

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The Attorneys of the Weissler Law Group assist clients in San Diego, California as well as in: Coronado, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Del Cerro, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Escondido, National City, Spring Valley, and Chula Vista.

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