Morris Hall PLLC - Your Estate Matters
Your Estate Matters
Brought to you by Morris Hall PLLC
Your Estate Matters VOLUME 9 ISSUE 3  


The Most Common Mistake After Losing a Loved One
FDIC Rule Changes Increase Account Protection

Do You Qualify? Many States Tightening Medicaid Restrictions

Battle of the Exes-Estate Planning and Multiple Marriages


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Battle of the Exes
Estate Planning and Multiple Marriages

Imagine you divorced many years ago and have since remarried. Perhaps you have children with your new spouse. Have you made the changes to your estate plan your new family situation requires? If you have not changed your estate planning and financial documents to reflect your new circumstances, your family could be in for a rude awakening. A new family requires new estate planning, and failing to make these changes is a big mistake that can lead to trouble. This failure can affect how your health care is handled in an emergency and how your assets are handled in the event of your death.

If you are stricken with an incapacitating illness or if you pass away, these unchanged estate planning documents can cause big problems. Your ex-spouse may still be your Agent under your existing Health Care Power of Attorney. As Agent, your ex-spouse could make decisions regarding your health care—not a situation most of us would want to be in.

If you have not changed your estate planning documents, your family may be surprised to find that your ex-spouse may be the beneficiary of your 401(k) plan and other assets. Divorce automatically changes the status of many assets, but it is necessary to check that beneficiary designations of insurance and other investment assets are changed in accordance with your wishes. Trusteeship is not automatically changed by divorce. It is essential to be sure that your estate plan reflects your most current choice for trustee of your trust.

Of course, this nightmare scenario can be avoided. After divorce, you can change your estate planning documents to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, trustee, agent, etc.

Call our office to set up a review of your estate plan to make sure it reflects your current situation.

Estate Planning for Out-of-State Family Members

One of our valuable client benefits stems from our affiliation with the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, a national member organization serving the needs of legal professionals concentrating on Estate Planning and Elder Law.

Our law firm has contact with hundreds of attorneys around the country who concentrate their law practices in this area. If you have a family member or friend needing assistance in estate planning, Elder Law or estate administration in another state, please contact us. We would be happy to make a referral to a conveniently located estate planning attorney.

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