After obtaining the divorce certificate, the next important thing is to update/ revise your estate plans. Divorcing women are often times carried away by the current situation and end up postponing or abandoning their estate plans. This could prove costly on the long run. No doubt that you are emotional hurt at this time and want to take things more slowly. But your estate plans requires an immediate attention. Your decisions to protect your kids from spouse (if abusive), or assign a guardian or an asset can only be implemented in an estate plan document.
Estate planning mistakes you should avoid
Neglecting 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.
- Review and update 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.
Not considering protecting the kids
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.
- Consider guardianship for minor kids
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.
In a trust created for little children, the beneficiaries are usually the children. Creating a trust for those little children of yours is definitely not a walk in the park. It consists of several process. However, you will have very little to worry about if you hire a competent estate planning attorney or a trust attorney.
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.
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.