What Everybody Ought to Know About Divorce and Estate Planning

     I was working with a new client recently who had been referred by another one of our clients.  His main concern was that he was in the process of going through a divorce. He had children and he wanted to make sure that everything was set up perfectly, so that when he passed away, things would go to his children the right way, ex-spouses would not be involved, and they would not be able to exert influence.  Fortunately, there was what you would call a pre-nup, or a marriage contract, or a separate property agreement in place before he married his wife whom he's divorcing.  So, it made the aspect of getting a divorce really simple.  He was able to keep everything that he had prior to the marriage and everything he had accumulated during the marriage, so that was a big savings. But, really he wanted to make sure that things went the right way for his children who are still young and not in a position to be able to handle it for themselves.

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     One kind of particular issue that we had to deal with was that he had set up an irrevocable life insurance trust for each of his children and he really did not like who the trustee was of one of those trusts.  Not that he didn't like the person, but he felt like that was not the most appropriate trustee. And you know, those irrevocable life insurance trusts are irrevocable, but as I read through that, I realized that the trustee could resign and appoint a successor trustee. So, he felt like the trustee, who he did not want to be the trustee, would do that.  So, there are lots of issues there when someone gets divorced.  One of the most important things that they can do is to get their estate legal plan either established or amended, so that the previous spouse, if you don't want the previous spouse to be involved, is really out of all the estate matters.  If that situation is what you have, feel free to reach out to us.