Marriage is a wonderful part of many couple’s lives and it’s easy to say that no one gets married with the intention of eventually splitting up down the road. Unfortunately, for nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. divorce is inevitable. Divorce can often be a contentious and lengthy process that costs valuable time and money. Estate plans may sometimes be forgotten during the divorce process. However, neglecting to modify your estate plan after a divorce can have significant consequences, many of which can be avoided when simple steps are taken to properly plan for the future.
Following a divorce, one of the first steps you should take is to re-evaluate your assets and determine your personal financial goals for the future. It is likely that you may have to re-allocate financial holdings and name new beneficiaries. It is important to establish a practical plan that considers both your current financial needs and develop a strategy for providing for your loved ones in the future. In some cases, couples that have children may still intend for their former spouse to remain as trustee for trusts established for the benefit of the children. However, it is still a good idea to re-examine the terms of these types of trusts to ensure that there are no other details that must be altered now that you are divorced.
Another item to consider that is related to the estate planning process is the potential need for a premarital agreement. After a divorce, many people vow to never get married again. However, it’s not surprising that those declarations are often broken and many divorced individuals subsequently find the right person and wish to remarry. Premarital, or prenuptial, agreements can be an effective way to protect your assets and your related estate plan. People that choose to remarry are often wiser and well aware of the potential ramifications of another divorce. A prenuptial agreement is an effective way to protect your best interests and plan for all possibilities to reduce the stress that would accompany another divorce.
If you are contemplating or currently embroiled in the divorce process, it is important to have a reliable estate planning advocate on your side to protect your future. At Altman & Associates, our dedicated Maryland estate planning attorneys provide comprehensive legal counsel in a supportive environment. To discuss your options with a member of our team, call (301) 468-3220 or contact us online. We have offices in Rockville, Columbia, D.C., Tysons Corner and McLean.