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If getting divorced, be sure to modify estate plans

Readers of this blog know that there are many legal issues that must be considered before getting a divorce. Regardless of whether one's divorce is disputed or collaborative in nature, matters like child custody, child support, alimony and property division must be taken into account. Though that only sounds like four issues, each one of these actually carries very detailed, often overlooked matters.

One of these areas is estate planning. When an individual gets a divorce, he or she should be sure to make appropriate changes to his or her estate plans. Failing to do so could result in serious, unintended consequences, primarily that an ex-spouse could receive extremely valuable assets that the deceased individual intended to pass to his or her family. The matter can be even more disastrous if the parties are going through a high-asset divorce and changes are not made.

Changing one's estate plan immediately upon divorce, or even upon the contemplation of divorce, may be the best method of protecting assets. First, divorcing individuals should be sure to change their beneficiaries so that in the event of death assets will pass to the correct individuals. Second, those dissolving their marriage should consider modifying their power of attorney and healthcare proxies to reflect their desires.

Divorce is rarely easy. Emotions can get heated, and parties may find themselves saddened, angry and afraid of what the future might bring. Luckily though, these individuals can speak with a dedicated and experienced Texas attorney to learn how best to protect their legal rights. Hopefully then, they can proceed with their life with peace of mind, confident that they did everything in their power to ensure their financial stability.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "After Divorce, Separate Your Estate Plans Too," Liz Moyer, Feb. 20, 2015

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