For those in Georgia who are going through divorce, estate planning might be the last thing on their minds. It's important to understand, however, that if these issues are not handled at the beginning of a divorce, one's estranged spouse could end up making serious medical decisions or inheriting if an unexpected incapacitation or death occurs before the divorce is made final. Wills and other estate planning documents should play a role in any Georgia divorce.
According to Georgia law, provisions leaving property to a spouse in a will are automatically revoked when a divorce is made final. However, that doesn't mean that he or she won't receive the proceeds from a life insurance policy, retirement savings, joint trusts or other accounts. In order to remove a spouse's ability to inherit those assets additional steps must be taken.
Determining how assets would be handled if a death occurs in the middle of a divorce can be even more complicated. That's why it is so important for Georgia spouses to sit down and determine exactly how they want their affairs managed in case of incapacitation or death. Getting the paperwork right is critical to achieving the intended outcome.
No two couples share the exact same set of divorce and estate planning needs. Wills, medical authorizations and other estate planning documents should be reviewed and altered as necessary during a Georgia divorce. Sitting down with a skilled attorney is the best way to ensure that all of the details are covered, and that one's estate plan is updated to align with current wishes.