Why You Need Estate Planning Help When Getting Divorced
If you are a middle-aged or older adult, chances are you have carefully planned for your future. If you are married, this generally involves planning for your spouse as well. You have likely created a will and established a trust to protect your assets and property after the death of you and your spouse. You may have even made decisions about who will care for your children if you have them, should something happen to both you and your spouse before your children reach the age of 18. Together, you and your spouse have likely purchased insurance policies that protect your family in the event of your disability or death. However, you might not have planned for divorce.
Getting a divorce means you will probably need to make several changes to your estate plan, especially if you have or will have another spouse. Should this be done with the help of a dedicated estate planning lawyer? Here’s what you need to know.
Divorce Preparation Versus Estate Planning
Usually, when a marriage comes to an end after divorce, this occurs with the finalization of a divorce settlement. Also called a divorce decree, a marital settlement agreement outlines how assets and property will be distributed to each spouse and if the couple shares children, the decree will make provisions for physically and financially providing for those children, aka child custody and child support.
Your divorce decree will address critical issues pertaining to the division of assets, whether spousal support will be paid, which spouse gets primary physical and legal custody of the children, and which parent will be afforded visitation. Your divorce settlement will likely not address other important issues such as your spouse being in charge of making medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated, or who gets your life insurance benefits should you pass away. These are critical considerations that can significantly impact your future and the future of your family.
Do You Need Both a Divorce Lawyer & an Estate Planning Attorney?
Legal assistance, especially during a divorce, can be expensive. You may be wondering if you actually need to hire both a Long Island divorce lawyer and an estate planning attorney, or if your divorce lawyer can help you take care of everything.
In most cases, it’s going to be to your benefit to have both types of attorneys assisting with your case. An estate planning attorney cannot help you draft or finalize a New York divorce decree.
A divorce lawyer can only provide you with limited guidance regarding your estate, while a dedicated estate planning attorney can help you with every step of the complex process of updating your will and renaming beneficiaries on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts, etc. In almost all cases of a divorce involving significant assets and property, your best interests will be served by working with both an estate planning lawyer and an experienced New York divorce attorney.
Additionally, if you work with both an estate planning lawyer and a divorce attorney, these two key figures can work together to ensure there are no gaps or loose ends that could potentially have a negative impact on you in the future. These professionals can assist each other to ensure that your divorce decree and your estate plan are ironed out in a way that creates contingency plans that better fit your life post-divorce. Both your estate plan and your divorce settlement should align with one another, and your lawyers can work with each other to update paperwork and beneficiary designations to reflect both your new estate plan and divorce decree in a coordinated way.
For more information about Estate Planning During and After Your Divorce click here.
Contact Hornberger & Verbitsky, P.C. Today for Long Island Divorce Help
If you are considering the option of getting a divorce but are concerned about your estate plan, or you’ve already started the process of dissolving your marriage, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced Long Island divorce attorney that can assist you along the way. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand how challenging it can be to both separate from your spouse and manage your assets, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. We can help. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your needs by dialing 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page.
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