We strongly recommend that if you are getting a divorce that you have a new last will and testament, power of attorney and advanced directive for health care decisions prepared by an attorney. Although a divorce might automatically revoke certain important legal documents under New Jersey law such as an Advanced Health Care Directive, you still need to identify new individuals to carry out your important intentions if your spouse was named your health care agent under your existing advanced directive.
The agent named by you in a general durable power of attorney, which most attorneys recommend that you have in place when preparing your estate planning documents, is not automatically revoked under New Jersey law by virtue of a divorce. If you became incapacitated, would you want your former spouse, by virtue of him or her being named as your agent under a general durable power of attorney, to be in control of your financial affairs?
As a divorce involves the reorganization of a family unit, it also requires an adjustment to your estate plan. A new Will, Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directive gives you the peace of mind that your wishes will be met.
About The Author
Robert E. Goldstein, Esq, is an attorney with Drescher & Cheslow, P.A. Mr. Goldstein is well-versed not only in divorce and family law, but also in estate planning. Click here to learn more.