Dont forget to get a new Will, Power of Attorney (POA) and Advance Medical Directive during your divorce process or immediately thereafter. Although the NJ divorce process might automatically revoke certain important legal documents such as an Advance Medical Directive under NJSA 26:2H-53, you still need to identify new individuals to carry out your important intentions. It is also the case that a Power of Attorney is not automatically revoked in the State of New Jersey by virtue of a divorce case. Imagine a situation where you become incapacitated and your ex-spouse is in control of your financial affairs. This sounds crazy or unlikely but it could happen unless a new Power of Attorney is prepared.
As a divorce involves the reorganization of a family unit, it also requires an adjustment to your estate plan and directives to your survivors as to your final care. Do not assume anything or take these important matters for granted. Please prepare a new Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive if you are getting divorced.
A final thought, you should prepare a separate letter of instruction which contains information not appropriate for the Will. For example, this can include passwords to your home computer or can contain a summary of your bank accounts, utility bills or other financial information so that the people you designate to handle your affairs won’t be running around searching for critical information during your time of need. They will already be deeply upset by your illness or other difficult situation, and quite frankly, you should not cause them greater aggravation by failing to provide them with important, well-organized information. Don’t delay; hire an attorney to do a new Will, POA and Advance Medical Directive today.