Why You Need An Estate Plan As Part Of A Divorce
At The Law Center P.C., we help clients throughout their lives. Our clients stay with us because of our experience and skill in diverse areas of the law. When we assist clients with divorce, we help them not just through the divorce process, but also with their long-term goals.
Establishing your new life outside of marriage is as much about the future as it is about the present. If you already have an estate plan with your spouse, you’ll want to update it as soon as possible. Even though Colorado law provides that a divorced spouse is considered to have predeceased the former spouse for the purposes of the estate, that does not always solve the problem. If minor children are involved, the former spouse might still gain financial control of your estate as the surviving parent of your minor children. Proper estate planning can assure that your heirs, not your former spouse, receive the bounty of your estate.
What Parts Of My Estate Plan Should Be Modified?
In short, part of a divorce should include updating your entire estate plan. The earlier you update your plan, the better. In many cases, it is advisable to draft interim estate planning documents during the dissolution of marriage proceedings, to be replaced by permanent documents after the decree of dissolution is entered.
We can assist with:
- Wills: The best course of action may be to revoke the previous will and start over. We can help ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.
- Guardianship: It will be important that you have a nominee in place to serve as guardian of your children.
- Extended family visitation: Are there extended family members with whom you would want your children to spend time after your death? Provisions can be drafted into estate plans that provide financial incentives for the other spouse to foster those relationships.
- Updating beneficiaries: Providing express instructions on how you would like your estate administered avoids unintended results.
- Powers of attorney: If your former spouse has powers of attorney, they can make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It is important to name a trusted person for this role following your divorce.
- Medical directives: Unless you designate otherwise, your spouse is your next of kin for medical and life support decisions — even during a pending divorce.
Whether you have a complex estate plan in place or need to create one for the first time, our lawyers can help you establish a post-divorce plan that meets your needs.