FIRST DIVORCE, THEN ESTATE PLAN?

May 12, 2009

FIRST DIVORCE, THEN ESTATE PLAN? 

After your divorce, things will have changed, forever.  Your income, home, automobiles, leisure time, family routines, time with or without the children; and how you feel about all this – will never be the same.  You may also have some hurts and real psychic damage to heal. 

 MOST DIVORCES…

Most divorces involve a full measure of unpleasant expense, conflict, and emotion.  Planning your estate, which contemplates your own personal demise; can also be fraught with negativity.  So why would anyone in their right mind want to do first one, then the other?  I would reason that because of and in spite of these traumas, this may be the very best time to plan your estate, your legacy

 FIRST,  EAT A BULLFROG

I’m returning here to a theme that has occurred to me in the course of our trusts and estates practice and our family law practice:  “Eat a bullfrog the first thing in the morning and everything else all day will taste delicious!”  <Author unknown.> My point is, you will have gone through a lot in your divorce.  It has no doubt strengthened you to take this necessary difficult step.  Now may be the time to use your strength and understanding to clean up the loose ends, start afresh, and look to the future.  Post divorce may be the best time of all for planning your estate.  There are a myriad of new legal tools for incapacity planning, wealth transfer planning and beneficiary protection.  I can only hint at what tools are available, but here they are.

 TOOLS THAT HELP PLAN YOUR ESTATE

You can use a revocable living trust to protect your assets.  An enhanced health care directive empowers individuals to carry out your medical decisions.  HIPAA authorization ensures family access to your health care information.

Your last will and testament or a beneficiary designation provide for the transfer of wealth.  

You can safeguard your family by establishing a beneficiary protection plan to designate guardians for your children, provide them child-rearing instructions.  You can establish trusts to protect beneficiaries by safeguarding their inheritance from excessive taxation, creditors and predators.  

 Thomas Moore

Moore Family Law, P.A.

 (763) 951-7330

Thomas.Moore@MooreFamilyLawMN.com

 www.MooreFamilyLawMN.com

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