When a couple goes through the difficulty of divorce the last thing either party wants to do is talk to another lawyer. In many cases, the couple has spent many hours and lots of money dealing with attorneys in one of the most painful times in their lives. But the reality is that a little more work must be done.
If the couple had an estate plan in place during the marriage, it’s imperative that completely new estate plans are implemented. After the property settlement agreement is finalized, each party should go through the process of creating a new estate plan and adjusting property titles and beneficiary designation forms accordingly. Surely the ex-spouse shouldn’t still be the primary beneficiary, trustee, or medical decision-maker anymore.
This means it’s time to create new trusts that will provide a structure for managing the individual’s property through any period of incapacity or after death – and most importantly – ensuring that the individual’s property ultimately goes to the beneficiaries they choose in the manner that best suits them. In order to make sure the new estate plan works as intended, all the property titles and beneficiary designations must be reviewed and updated to coordinate with the new estate plan.
Many individuals who have just experienced divorce aren’t interested in a new relationship or remarriage anytime soon. But individuals with business interests or significant wealth should seize the opportunity to implement robust asset protection strategies to ensure that any future relationship doesn’t threaten to harm their business or further diminish their wealth. This is especially true for divorcees who have children. Without advanced planning a later remarriage poses a very real threat to the children’s future inheritances no matter if that later marriage ends in divorce or death.
If you have recently gone through a divorce, or if you have been divorced and want to protect your children and your property from the uncertainty of a new relationship – or if you’re a family attorney looking to see if we can help you and your clients, CONTACT US now.