Even the most amicable divorce can leave a person feeling emotionally disoriented. You’re starting a new life – but where should you begin?
Whether you have an existing estate plan or need to create one, attending to these documents post-divorce is a good way to ensure that events after the end of your life will go according to plan. Here are three questions to work on with your experienced Columbia County, Pennsylvania estate planning attorney after a divorce:
- Is my estate plan set up to pass on property and life insurance proceeds to the people I want to receive them?
Many married people’s estate plans leave everything to their surviving spouse, confident that the spouse will make sure minor children and other family members receive whatever property or money the deceased spouse wanted them to have. After divorce, your estate plan may require changes to ensure that your children or other loved ones are properly covered. For instance, creating a trust so that life insurance proceeds and other funds are available to your children may be wise.
- Who will have custody or guardianship of my children when I’m gone?
Many divorced spouses want their child’s other parent to have custody, even after a divorce. If your former spouse is an unfit parent, however, revising your estate plan to include instructions for the custody or guardianship of your children is a wise plan. Most judges will take this information into account when considering what is in the best interests of your children.
- How has my tax situation changed now that I’m single?
Divorce can affect estate tax considerations, especially in a high net worth divorce. Your attorney can help you determine exactly how the tax laws apply now that you are single, and work with other professionals like accountants or financial planners to structure your estate in way that uses the tools available to your advantage.