If you are in the midst of a separation from your spouse, it is more important than ever that you update your estate plan. Many married couples create estate plans that name each other as the primary beneficiary and fiduciary. Chances are good that your needs, wishes, and goals have changed now that you are legally separated from your spouse. Your power of attorney is an important estate planning document that needs updating during this process.
Keep Your Power of Attorney Current
A power of attorney is a commonly used document in an estate plan—especially between spouses. Following is an overview as to why it is important to keep this document up to date:
- A power of attorney gives someone the ability to access, manage, and control your assets.
- A power of attorney is not contingent upon your disability or incapacity. That means it is effective immediately, on the day it is signed.
- Anyone who is named under a power of attorney can access your assets.
- During a separation, you may no longer wish for your spouse to have this power.
Unlike other estate planning documents, the power of attorney is typically revoked rather than amended. Your attorney may advise that you revoke the existing document and execute a new one, naming another trusted individual to serve in this important role.
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