Divorce brings many changes and requires much planning. Where will you live? How will you support yourself? How will parental rights be allocated? Although what happens in the near future after divorce is extremely crucial, long-term planning in a divorce is also essential. Many couples do not realize this fact and do not take divorce as an opportunity to review or craft plans for their estate in the future. By hiring an experienced divorce attorney, you can incorporate your estate planning into your divorce and ensure that your wishes are honored.
Perhaps you thought you had everything planned out. You and your spouse had a will, created trusts, and planned for your combined estate after your passing. You determined who would become the legal guardians of your children if you both passed before they were of age. You had life and disability insurance and put each other as beneficiaries on your retirement plans. You thought you had everything covered, but the one thing you did not consider or expect was divorce. Now your desires have likely changed, but you need to make these changes legal in order for them to be followed in your passing. This is an opportune time to get help and advice from an estate planner and a divorce attorney.
There are several necessary but relatively simple steps that you can take now to protect your wishes and your estate after your divorce.
This includes your will, power of attorney, insurance policies, trusts that you and your spouse created together, and health care proxy. You will need to update or replace these documents as you likely have different ideas and instructions about how you want your estate handled now that you are getting divorced.
Know how your life insurance premiums are paid and how it is guaranteed. The spouse who owns the policy is the one who is on the hook for paying premiums and has the authority to change the beneficiaries. Life insurance should be a crucial factor in any divorce, especially when you have kids together. You may want to consider using a trust as the owner of a life insurance policy. Doing so can help you avoid any gaps or problems in insurance planning that could come about after your divorce.
At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, we know how overwhelming estate planning can be, even when you are not going through a divorce. There are many details to attend to, and some of them may be confusing to the layperson. When you hire a divorce lawyer from our firm, you can be assured that we will do everything we can to help you make informed decisions about your estate during and after your divorce. If you are ready to learn more, contact us to schedule your consultation today.