As an estate planning attorney, I am the worst-case scenario guy.
I’m constantly (hypothetically, of course) killing people off in my consultations with my examples, because it’s the only way we can be sure to have the best possible plan in place under all circumstances
.This February, my job became a little more complicated. As the entire world thinks about love, I’m thinking about divorce.Specifically, I’m thinking about two things related to divorce: (1) What if my clients get divorced? and (2) What if my clients’ children get divorced? Let’s start with the second question first.
Are you worried about your children getting divorced?
If so, consider leaving your assets in trust for your children as opposed to having them inherit you outright. The main advantage of leaving your assets in trust is that it can be much harder for ex-spouses to retrieve those assets in a divorce agreement.However, there are administrative questions you need to answer. For example, do you want to make it more difficult for your children to gain access to their inheritance? The more strings attached to getting their money, the more they are protected from a divorce proceeding
; but at the same time your children might be upset they have to jump through hoops to get their own inheritance.There is fine line between protecting your children from spouses and ensuring your assets stay in the family. Working with an estate planning attorney can help you navigate that process.Related: When a Hero Needs a Hero: Stan Lee’s End-of-Life Plan
Moreover, are you divorced? There are several issues you need to think about.According to Christine Fletcher from Forbes
, consider: Giving your divorce agreement to your estate planning attorney Updating your health care proxy or medical power of attorney Updating your financial power of attorney Revising your will to remove provisions concerning your ex-spouse Rethink guardianship provisions Create a trust for your minor children Check your beneficiary designations and pay attention to your life insurance policies If you’re getting remarried – make sure you have a prenuptial agreement
These are some of the important considerations you need to think about if you are recently divorced. Talk to an estate planner to make sure you are protected in any event.