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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Estate Planning > Why Update Your Estate Plan After Your Spouse Passes Away?

Why Update Your Estate Plan After Your Spouse Passes Away?


Losing your spouse will be one of the hardest things you will ever experience. During this time of grief, you still have a lot of practicalities to consider. The last thing you may be thinking about is reviewing your estate plan and updating it as necessary. However, this is a critical step to take to make sure all of the documents are still valid and that they still reflect your final wishes. Below, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer outlines the most important parts of your plan to review.

Your Last Will and Testament 

One of the most important documents you should review is your last will and testament to determine if you have ‘second look’ privileges. Second look privileges allow you to review the will of your spouse before it is entered into probate. This is important, as it may allow you to defer part of your child’s inheritance or redirect property that is meant for one beneficiary to someone else. Even without second look privileges, there may be changes to your own will you should make. For example, if you have named your spouse as a beneficiary, you should make the necessary changes and name someone in their place.

HIPAA Releases 

You may have signed certain releases under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) during your marriage. The Act protects the privacy of your personal health information. You may have previously signed a release allowing your spouse to obtain information about your medical treatment and overall health. After your spouse passes away, you should review these releases and if you choose to, name other people who can access this information.

Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy 

A power of attorney and health care proxy allow someone else to manage your financial and medical affairs, respectively. These documents are important in case you ever become incapacitated and cannot make these decisions for yourself. During your marriage, you may have named your spouse as your power of attorney and health care proxy. After they pass away, you will then have to name someone else, just like with any HIPAA releases you have signed. Make sure you only name someone you trust implicitly as your power of attorney or health care proxy.

Beneficiary Designations 

You may have named your spouse as a beneficiary on a brokerage, retirement, or bank account. You may have also listed them as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy. You should review all of these policies and accounts and make the necessary changes by designating new beneficiaries.

Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help During this Difficult Time 

Thinking about making changes to your estate plan can be overwhelming during your time of grief. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer can help by providing the legal advice you need and making sure you and your estate are protected. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case and to get the legal help you need.




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