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Estate planning changes with divorce

California residents who are getting a divorce should take a close look at their existing estate plan. There are likely to be changes they want to make now that they and their spouse are going their separate ways.

Individuals who reside in states that allow new wills to be executed should see to it that they have a new will in place. It may be necessary to remove a current spouse as executor of the estate. There may also be changes to be made to whom the guardianship of one's minor children will be assigned should both the individual and the ex-spouse die.

In the majority of states, individuals are prohibited from completely disinheriting their spouse. In these situations, it may be advisable to leave to the spouse only what they are entitled to according to the law. Before doing so, any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should be reviewed to determine what both parties agreed would be left to a spouse in the event of one's death.

Another part of the estate plan that may have to be modified is the trust. Individuals who reside in states that permit the modification of a revocable trust should do so as soon as possible. Individuals will have to address which assets are to be bequeathed to the spouse. Any assets that have been allocated for members of a spouse's family may be redirected.

A family law attorney may assist clients who are going through a divorce with resolving issues regarding asset division and other divorce legal matters. The attorney may engage in negotiation to obtain favorable divorce settlement terms. Litigation might be used to ensure that a client's rights are protected during disputes regarding spousal support, child support and visitation plans.

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