The best time to review or create an estate plan is after an important life event such as a birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or death. As an estate planning lawyer, its advisable to review your estate plan carefully. If you are going through a separation, you will want to meet with your lawyer to review any possible changes that need to be made as quickly as possible.
The reason to have a will or estate is to ensure all of your wishes are properly carried out in the event of your death or incapacitation. A divorce or separation could affect your wishes, especially if you forget to update your will or estate.
Often a married couple will draft their estate at the same time. When don so, their plans may be inherently similar. More often than not one spouse will make the other the executor of their estate and even the sole beneficiary. Many states have laws that disinherit a person’s spouse when there is a divorce. However, these laws typically do not affect beneficiary designations or the retitling of assets, For this reason you should not rely on such laws, but rather speak with an estate planning lawyer for further advice.
Apart from reviewing your Will and estate after a divorce, it will also be a good idea to review the ownership structure and beneficiary designation of any of your assets that do not pass under the terms and conditions of a Will. This is especially true for life insurance policies and retirement plans. Many of these assets do not fall within a Will’s’ terms, but rather are distributed according to who you designate as a beneficiary. It is very easy to overlook such assets which is why you should have a lawyer do it for you.
A lawyer can help you to decide how you want your estate and Will to be changed. For instance you might wish to change your beneficiary to a new spouse or your children. Alternatively you might wish to distribute your assets. In any case, it will be a wise choice to go through the documentation and make your changes as best as you see fit.
If you would like legal assistance, a Sacramento estate planning lawyer can talk to you during a complimentary consultation. Call our firm today to schedule your appointment. We are happy to answer your questions and concerns in an honest, transparent, and practical way. Call now.
Thanks to our contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and divorce.