We all know that divorce is not easy, no matter how ready you may be to get out of a troubled marriage. There are certainly emotional hurdles to overcome as you move on with life, and the financial hurdles may take longer to get over than you may anticipate. Because of this, some people may abandon their estate planning endeavors because they have to make ends meet.
While we understand that you don’t want to spend the next part of your life in financial peril, there are a number of things you can do ensure that your wishes will be honored (and your estate is properly protected) when you pass away. This post will highlight a few.
Be certain about post-divorce property ownership – Marriage inherently takes what is considered separate property and transforms it into joint property. Divorce is supposed to undo this status, but it is not so easy to do. As such, knowing what you own free and clear from your previous spouse is critical.
Consider placing property into a trust – Besides the ease of transferring property outside of probate, a trust can protect a child’s interest in a property in the event a divorced parent remarries. Essentially, the next spouse cannot “disinherit” a child from a previous marriage that could be entitled to property if he or she is a beneficiary to the trust.
Update beneficiaries – Like the changes that come with a divorce, you also want to make sure your beneficiaries are updated in your estate plan. You may have no love lost for your former spouse, but it would be horribly ironic to have them inherit property if you pass away.
For more information about protecting your estate, contact an experienced attorney.