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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

D-I-V-O-R-C-E And E-S-T-A-T-E P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G


Little did Tammy Wynette know, she could have had another hit on her hands by doing a follow-up to her classic song D-I-V-O-R-C-E on post-divorce E-S-T-A-T-E P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G. Maybe not a Number 1, but it would probably be popular in legal circles. Maybe?

Okay, it’s a stretch. But estate planning should come after divorce in the real world even if a song about it wouldn’t register on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

If you don’t update your estate plan after separating from a partner, your ex could end up making decisions about your end of life care or inheriting assets you would rather give to someone else.

An example of how this might play out in real life comes from America’s favorite reality stars, the Kardashians. Although they had filed for divorce, Lamar Odom still had Khloe Kardashian listed as his decision maker in his power of attorney documents when he suffered a medical emergency and nearly died at a Nevada brothel. Lucky for him, Khloe took the responsibility of caring for Lamar seriously and appears, at least from the outside, to have done a good job managing things while he was incapacitated.

Not everyone can trust their ex to take as good of care of them as Khloe took of Lamar, so it is critical to update advance directives/power of attorney for health care/living wills (they all mean the same thing, people just call them by different names) as soon as possible after a split.

After updating your health care related documents, your next step should be changing the financial aspects of your estate plan. It is shockingly common for families to find out that their loved one still lists an ex-partner as their main beneficiary. This becomes particularly awkward when the deceased person has remarried but left his or her new spouse out of his or her estate plan because they failed to make a few simple updates.

Family members and new partners can and do challenge old wills in court, but it is an expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining process. Your loved ones will appreciate you taking a couple hours to make the changes necessary to update your estate plan.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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