Protecting assets after divorce action

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2016 | Blog

A Nevada resident might think that the completion of a divorce is the end of the financial worry in a marriage. Nonetheless, it is necessary to review accounts such as one’s pension, life insurance policies and investments to make updates in terms of beneficiaries. Many of these assets are handled outside of a will or trust after one’s death, and failing to make updates could allow these resources to go to an ex-spouse instead of to one’s children. Additionally, it is important to update one’s will or trust to account for the new life circumstances.

Experts recommend that an estate plan be reviewed at least every three to five years. However, a major life change like divorce warrants a prompt review to ensure that one’s wishes related to personal matters, child guardianship and distribution of assets are revised. A trust can be used to provide financially for one’s adult or dependent children.

An individual could create incentives within a trust to encourage their children to be productive adults. For example, a trust could be structured on an income-matching basis, allowing an adult child to receive their inheritance over time in proportion to their actual work activity. A trust could also be established to accomplish one’s charitable giving goals.

If a trust existed before divorcing, an individual should be sure that a new trust affirms that any prior trusts are nullified. It is also important to select a trustee who will follow one’s wishes. It might also be a good idea to make changes to documents such as power of attorney to ensure that a former spouse does not retain unintended power. Even issues such as the person responsible for handling one’s remains could be clarified in a trust or will. An estate-planning lawyer may be helpful for ensuring that all details are evaluated carefully in light of the relationship change that occurs because of divorce.