Divorce Requires A Review Of Future Plans

Once your divorce is final, you will undoubtably be anxious to put your past behind you and begin your new future. Before you do, however, you have one more matter to address. You should review and update your estate planning documents. Updating these documents is vital to the future of your family and finances.

At Minyard Morris, our dedicated Orange County divorce attorneys have over 200 years of combined legal experience. We understand the importance of estate planning, especially as it pertains to divorce, and are here to advise you regarding the importance of these issues and refer you to a competent estate planning attorney.

Top 5 Documents To Review And Update After A Divorce

Although our clients’ estate plans vary widely in complexity, they all contain certain basic components. Regardless of the nature of your estate plan, we recommend that you review the following five aspects of your plan:

  • Update your will. Make sure to update the language of your last will and testament to reflect the fact that you and your spouse are no longer married. While California law revokes any bequests that your will makes to your former spouse after a divorce, you still need to consider how to redistribute those bequests and name an executor. If you have never had a will, now is the time to have one prepared.
  • Designate a new health care agent. If your former spouse is your current health care agent, you may want to update your advance health care directive to appoint a trusted friend or family member.
  • Create a new power of attorney. If you named your former spouse as your financial power of attorney, you should revoke this document and create a new one.
  • Remove your former spouse as the trustee of any trust. Your ability to alter a trust may depend on the type of trust. We highly recommend that you discuss changes to your trust with your estate planning attorney.
  • Revise your beneficiary designations. Many types of insurance policies and investment accounts allow you to designate a beneficiary in the event of your death. In most cases, you will not want your former spouse to be that beneficiary after your divorce.

Do You Need A QDRO?

Many divorces involve the division of pension plans or other types of retirement plans, such as a 401(k). In many cases, though not all, division of these assets requires the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The problematic aspect of the QDRO is that you must obtain it after your divorce is final. Your plan administrator will rely on the court order to make any necessary transfers from one spouse to the other. Your Minyard Morris divorce attorney can help you determine if a QDRO is required as part of your settlement.

Plan Well For The Future

We also advise our clients to review their estate plans after any major life event that could alter their wishes. Many people find new relationships after a divorce. The best way to protect your children and assets in a subsequent marriage is often through a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that both spouses understand what will happen should the marriage last less than a lifetime.

Work With A Team Of Highly Rated Divorce Attorneys

At Minyard Morris, we understand how important a secure future is to you and your family. When you work with an attorney at our firm you get the dual benefits of a dedicated attorney for your case, as well as the collaboration of our entire team of 16 experienced divorce attorneys. Contact our office in Newport Beach by calling 949-652-2770 or completing our online contact form.