Have you considered that being married to someone can give them a substantial amount of rights in many aspects of your life? It can be important to remember this, especially if you may be separated from your spouse and not yet divorced. Your spouse can inherit your property when you die. Your spouse can make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.  Your spouse may even be able to make financial and business decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. So, if you and your spouse decide to separate, you may want to make sure that those rights given to your spouse through marriage may be curtailed, until a divorce is finalized and your spouse is no longer your spouse under the law.

If you are separated, be sure to contact an estate planning attorney to either update your estate plan, or create one if you do not have one in place. You may want to make sure that you execute a power of attorney wherein you designate an agent other than your spouse to act on your behalf to manage your affairs in the event you are incapacitated and unable to do so. You may also want to make sure that you select an agent other than your spouse in a health care surrogate to help make sure your health care wishes may be carried out in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes to your doctors. Finally, you should also update or create your will and, potentially, use other estate planning vehicles as your attorney advises so that, if tragedy strikes and you pass away before your divorce is finalized, you can minimize the risk that your property is transferred to your spouse.

To learn more about estate planning updates you should make after separating from your spouse, contact our office to set up a meeting to discuss.