Estate Planning Tips During a Divorce

1:25 pm Uncategorized

concept of divorce 150x150 Estate Planning Tips During a DivorceIf you are thinking about getting a divorce – or are in the middle of one – here are some estate planning items that should be near the top of your “to-do” list:

Tip #1: Update your will immediately.

This may not be top-of-mind, but updating your will is extremely important if you are going through a divorce.  Having your assets go to your ex can be like adding insult to injury…and can tie up your estate for years to come.  Prime example: actor Gary Coleman, who divorced his wife in 2008; she now claims to have a handwritten will leaving everything to her.

Tip #2: Update your life insurance policy and retirement beneficiaries.

Another lesson from Hollywood: actor Dennis Hopper was in the middle of a highly contentious divorce when he died.  Since he didn’t change his life insurance policy beneficiaries, she received the proceeds.  Be sure to name new beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts so your ex doesn’t inherit your assets.

Tip #3: Do not wait until the divorce is final.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wait until your divorce is final to update your estate planning documents.  If your divorce is likely to drag on for months or even years, you can still protect your assets from your ex by updating your estate plan.

Tip #4: Revisit your choice of executor and trustee.

While your ex may become the legal guardian of any minor children if you die, he or she should not necessarily be named as executor of your will or the trustee of your children’s inheritance.

Tip #5: Update your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

If you do not want your ex making decisions about your healthcare, you will need to update your durable power of attorney for healthcare as well as your living will.  This also applies to any other advance directives that name your ex as a decision maker.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

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