Estate Planning After Divorce
Divorce represents a significant shift in your life. As a result, you need to examine and update your estate plan after a divorce thoroughly. Provisions that included your ex-spouse or in-laws could produce undesirable outcomes. For example, an ex-spouse left as a trustee on a joint trust that you established during your marriage might end up in control of your assets should you pass away. The lawyers at Webster & Garino understand the areas where estate planning in Indiana intersects with divorce.
Your will might contain multiple provisions that include your ex-spouse or in-laws in various capacities. When updating your will, you could select a new personal representative or executor if your ex-spouse initially filled that role.
Powers of Attorney
You might also have executed powers of attorney that granted your ex-spouse authority to make financial and medical decisions for you during a crisis. You will probably want to name new agents to be in charge of these aspects of your life.
Legal advice about estate planning in Indiana could alert you to problems within a revocable living trust or joint trust. You might want to replace an ex-spouse with a new trustee or remove an ex-spouse as the trust beneficiary. Additionally, you might want to create a trust for your minor children with a trustee other than your ex-spouse. Without a separate trust for your children in the event of your death, an ex-spouse who is also the children’s guardian will gain control of the money that you left your children while they remain under 18.
After a divorce, parents of minor children might choose to alter previous guardianship assignments that named an in-law as a guardian. Some people also have concerns about their ex-spouses gaining guardianship of children, especially when a substance abuse problem makes them unfit. A lawyer might help you prepare for the possibility of challenging an ex-spouse’s guardianship of your children.
Many financial accounts contain beneficiary designations or transfer on death clauses that reassign accounts automatically. Your ex-spouse will remain as the beneficiary on life insurance policies, investment accounts, or bank accounts unless you change it.
Contact Us for Help
At Webster & Garino, you can consult our divorce attorneys to gain a big-picture about your financial rights and needs during and after a divorce. We can guide you through the process of settling a divorce and updating your estate plan. Contact us today.
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