A divorce causes major changes in your life, particularly with regard to how property, assets and debts are divided, as well as custody and support of any children. These changes will implicitly affect any estate plan you had in place prior to divorce.
A number of changes take place automatically with regard to your estate plan when you divorce in Massachusetts. For example, any provision in favor of your former spouse under the terms of your will would automatically be revoked upon divorce. This would not automatically occur if your estate plan included a trust in which your former spouse was named as a beneficiary. In order to change the provisions of the trust which benefit your former spouse, you need to take additional steps by revising the trust document. Further changes may also be necessary where you have a health care directive or durable power of attorney which names your former spouse as your agent.
On March 31, 2012, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC), G. L. c. 190B, took effect. The new probate law significantly alters probate and estate administration practice in Massachusetts. In light of the new law, it is advisable that you consult with an estate planning attorney upon divorce to review and update your estate plan.
For further information about divorce, in general, please contact Patricia S. Fernandez & Associates to learn more about the process. Pat and her team can help you answer your questions.