Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

Divorce affects many areas of one’s life, and that includes estate planning. If you already have a will or trust in place, it’s important to take a closer look at them, possibly with the help of an experienced estate attorney turns to. A skilled lawyer can help you update your estate planning, and we can also help you create a will or trust if not yet taken care of.

Your Will After a Divorce

In many states, laws are in place to prevent former spouses from inheriting anything when the will is not accurate. For example, if someone’s will specified that their spouse should inherit this or that, but they divorced since the will was written, then the ex-spouse should not be allowed to inherit those assets. However, this isn’t enforced unless the estate passes through probate court. Otherwise, the former spouse might inherit what the deceased would not want them to receive. In addition, if the former spouse was left out of the outdated will, they may have the legal right to challenge the will and receive assets after all. What can prevent these scenarios from occurring after you pass away? If you update your will after your divorce and leave your ex-spouse out of it, then they will not have a legal basis for challenging it. An estate planning lawyer from our firm can help you revoke your old will and create a new one.

Your Trust After a Divorce

There are various types of trusts, and each are handled differently because of their dissimilar rules and regulations. There are two main types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable.

  1.       Revocable trusts. With a revocable trust, the person or couple who creates it still maintains control over their assets in the trust. This type of trust can be changed to reflect the owner’s current wishes or they can choose to dissolve the trust. After dissolving it with the help of an estate planning lawyer, the owner can create a new trust. After dissolving the trust, the divorce papers must include the assets that were in the trust and the couple or individual must pay any income taxes that are due on those assets.
  2.       Irrevocable trusts. This is a type of trust in which all of the specified assets are transferred to the trust and the trustee takes control of them. If the irrevocable trust was created in order to benefit the couple’s children, because neither parent has control over the trust then the divorce should be a non-issue. However, if one or the other parent is the trustee and might abuse that power, a court might close the trust to both parents and only allow the trust’s beneficiaries to access the assets.

Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Who Can Address Your Concerns

After a divorce, it’s important to update your estate planning arrangements in order to reflect your new priorities. Call an attorney and talk to an estate planning lawyer who can review your options and address your concerns.