Estate planning and divorce

When couples in Nevada decide to divorce, they are often concerned with immediate issues such as child custody, support payments and the division of assets. One area that may be overlooked is that of estate planning. It is essential that couples review their estate plans as part of the divorce process.

Spouses often make estate plans with the assumption that they will be married at the time of their death or incapacitation. While this is a reasonable way to plan an estate, it’s also important to recognize that circumstances can change. When a spouse realizes that their marriage is coming to an end, they should modify their plans so that their own families or children receive the lion’s share of assets. In addition, a spouse may want to give another family member the authority to make end-of-life decisions on their behalf.

Unfortunately, there have been numerous cases in which a failure to address estate plans has caused significant distress and hardship. For example, spouses who have remarried but haven’t updated their wills, insurance policies or pensions may inadvertently end up leaving their new spouses and children with nothing.

There are also cases in which spouses have unexpectedly died during or soon after a divorce and before all financial matters have been settled. As a result, previous estate plans and agreements may be nullified because needed changes were never completed.

Individuals who are considering divorce and have assets they wish to protect may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer could provide advice and assistance throughout the process and make key estate planning changes that protect the interests of the client.

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