Donna Dougherty Law P.C.

Estate plan deserves attention during divorce

Virginia residents getting a divorce can easily and understandably feel overwhelmed with all of the different decisions they must make and topics they must address. If minor children are involved, concerns can range from how to financially care for them on a reduced income to how, when and where time will be spent with the kids. Logistical issues range from where a person will live to how to divide retirement accounts and more.

Sometimes, in the midst of so many things to take care of, it can be all too easy to overlook some that may not seem so essential or obvious. Estate planning is one of those things. Regardless of a spouse’s age, updating an estate plan—or creating one if one did not exist before—should be part and parcel of getting divorced. If this is not done, spouses leave themselves vulnerable to the state making decisions about how their real or personal property will be doled out after death.

One option worth considering is the development of a revocable trust. This provides people with a good level of control over how assets will be distributed. It also allows the option to amend the trust over time, although this should be done judiciously.

Estate planning is just one of the many things that may make a consultation with an attorney during a divorce beneficial. Learning about the sometimes missed actions may help Virginia spouses to get off to a better start after their divorces.

Source: The National Law Review, “How Divorce Can Impact Your Estate Plan in Virginia – Real Estate and Personal Property,” June 2, 2016


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