Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid in a Divorce


Are you thinking about getting divorced or have you recently been divorced? One common area of financial concern that is often overlooked is estate planning. Before, during or after a divorce is a perfect time to update your estate plan and make sure you have made changes to those documents that reflect the changes in your marital estate. 

It is important during and after a divorce to check on the beneficiary designations you made earlier in your marriage. For instance, your spouse (soon to be ex-spouse) may be the beneficiary on your Annuity, IRA, Pension or bank accounts or life insurance policy. It is also possible that you have been divorced for a few years and have met someone new. It is important to look at your estate plan once a year. Do not leave things to chance if these beneficiary designations are not changed then it is possible your assets will go to your ex-spouse. 

Is your Last Will and Testament updated properly? You may want to remove your ex-spouse and leave all your assets to your children. Is there another family member or close friend that you want to add? If your ex-spouse is still the person who makes your medical decisions in your Health Care Proxy that may be something that you want to change. Also, revisit your Durable Power of Attorney document as you may not want your ex-spouse to fill that role.

An important estate planning tool is the use of a trust. If you do not already have a trust you may want to think about creating one. Trusts are a means by which property can be owned or conveyed for beneficiaries, and simultaneously avoid the probate process. The trust property is managed by a trustee for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. When this is combined with a Will it is called a Living Trust. 

Estate planning during a divorce can be complicated especially if you are adding new documents such as a trust. The attorneys at Amaral & Associates P.C. have considerable experience when it comes to estate planning during a divorce. Please reach out to one of our Boston Divorce attorneys with estate planning expertise today. Please contact us today to discuss any of your Divorce questions or financial or estate planning concerns. Call our office at (617) 539-1010 ext. 111 for a confidential consultation with Attorney Edward Amaral. Attorney Amaral will explain the Divorce process and financial issues while taking the time to answer any questions that you have.

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