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Getting divorced? Be sure to update your estate plan

For many people, divorce is a complicated and long process. It is never as easy as simply signing divorce papers and moving on. For instance, if you own real estate or other property in Pompano Beach, you and your ex will probably spend endless hours determining the value of the property and how to fairly divide it.

If you have children, you will have to make certain decisions regarding custody, visitation schedules and how to effectively co-parent. However, once you make these decisions, there are still some lose ends you will need to tie up.

If you have an estate plan in place, divorce is one of those key moments when you should update the documents included in the estate plan. Here are three estate planning documents that you should update as soon as possible if you are getting divorced.

Your will

In most states, if you had a will in place that included provisions for your spouse but then you divorce, those provisions will generally be ineffective. Your divorce will not make your will invalid, but it will treat your spouse as though she died before you. In other states, divorce will invalidate your will completely. And, in just a few states, your divorce will have no impact on your will and your ex can still inherit your property if you do not take steps to revise it. Regardless of the rules in Florida, you should go ahead and update your will if you are divorcing in order to protect your property and your heirs' interests.

Your trust

If you have an irrevocable trust, you must include a provision in the trust document that your spouse will no longer be a beneficiary in case of divorce. An irrevocable trust that does not include such a provision will remain in place and effective if you and your wife divorce. Once the trust is in place, if it is irrevocable, your spouse's property rights were determined and secured at the time the trust became effective.

Power of attorney

If you have a power of attorney in place that names your spouse as your agent in financial or medical matters, you may want to revoke it and draft a new document if you are divorcing. A power of attorney grants the holder a great deal of power and if you become incapacitated, your ex might be the last person you want to have any power over your finances or medical decisions.

If you are planning to divorce, take the time to update your estate plan in order to protect yourself and your beneficiaries. If you ignore these documents, you could put your beneficiaries' future claims to your estate at risk.

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