Divorce presents a challenging time. You need all the support, care and also importantly the right document. You need guidance and assistance from experienced estate planning lawyer to know what to do and what next step you should take. You don’t have to do all of this alone. With help, you can plan your estate smartly especially having ended things with your spouse. Planning for your future and that of your kids with an estate lawyer would never be regretted. Preparing now for the future over your financial and medical affairs would save you and your loved ones a whole deal of stress and troubles. One wrong document or inclusion or signatory could mean or signal a whole different thing and may jeopardize your wellbeing or your estates at risk of loss and probate with the beneficiary or trustee not getting it.
Rethink guardianship if you have minor children
Separating from a spouse could be tough. Not just on you but the minor kids. A decision has to be made on whose custody the kids will be and who takes care of them. Setting up a guardianship at this time may be a good idea for you kids. Typically, you may choose to name your ex-spouse guardian or someone else if you think they won’t be good for your kids.
The duty of an appointed guardian may include;
- Deciding where the kids will live
- The guardian is responsible for personal care of the minor ward. This includes paying for education, health and other maintenance.
- Asides these, the legal guardian would train, correct the ward when there’s need while also ensuring adequate protection of the ward.
- The guardian would handle paying off expenses or taxes incurred on the estates inherited by the ward.
As parents, you need to consider making plans for suitable guardians for your minor. Through proper estate documents, you can adequately state your wish and desire.
Update your estate plan documents
Revising your estate plans after a divorce would prevent situations such as invalid Will, contest of a Will through wrong inclusions, or even make the document inappropriate for implementation. If you had your ex-spouse as a beneficiary of one of your assets but would like to replace them, you should consult an estate layer. It is appropriate you make these changes to prevent issues with transferring or naming a beneficiary for your assets.
Revise your Will with an estate lawyer
Before divorce, there is chance you already created a last will. Well, you still have power to update and make necessary correction. Since you are no longer with your spouse and perhaps don’t want them to have some parts of your assets, you can consult an estate planning lawyer to make revisions.
Update your Power of attorney
If you had an old power of attorney naming your ex-spouse, that should be revoked. You should also execute a new power of attorney naming a desired relative or trusted advisor to act as your agent regarding your finances and assets.
Pay attention to life insurance
After divorce you should review your obligation to maintain life insurance under the divorce agreement with your estate planning attorney.
Set up trust for you children
By law, any child under 18 cannot inherit property bequeathed to him or her whether or not there is a will in place, and such property will hence be put into a trust for minors or invested in the Guardian’s Fund by the court until the minor child attains the legal adult age of 18. If a decedent, by reason of his or her will, leaves property for minor children, then they would not have access to the property. Also, the guardian appointed by the court may not be the most preferred choice of the decedent for the kids, and for this reason, most parents now create trusts for minor children and name whoever they deem best fit to look after the trust and the kids until they reach 18. These trusts for minor children must be created with the assistance of an experienced estate attorney.
Obtain a divorce agreement document.
To consolidate your divorce, you need a legal document stating that you are no longer with your spouse. Also, you should have the document stating the roles of your ex-spouse going forward. Whether or not you want them to have custody of your kids, your assets or possession. Your estate planning lawyer should also be informed of this document when creating and updating your estate plans.
Contact an estate planning lawyer today
It is also important to note that state laws rules over estate plan. They dictates what should be included in will, trust or power of an attorney. These state laws, also regulates how the documents are filed and its implementation. This emphasize the un-denying importance an estate planning attorney.