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Estate Planning Tips After a Breakup

Posted by Debby EhrlichMar 02, 20220 Comments

Breakups and divorces are hard; there's no other way to put it. But breakups are necessary when it's time to move on and put someone behind, allowing you to get on with a new and improved life. However, you haven't truly moved on until you've revised your estate plan to reflect your relationship status. There are a million and one websites ready and willing to give you relationship advice, but I'm here to give you some tips for handling your dissolution. 

Tip No. 1: Don't Wait to Revise Your Estate Plan

If you're going through a divorce, you shouldn't wait until the divorce is final before changing your estate plan. The divorce process is lengthy, especially if the assets involved are significant. Case and point: we are around year six of the infamous Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split.

As soon as you know your relationship is over, you should contact your San Diego estate planning lawyer and get started on estate plan revisions. If you tragically pass away before your divorce is final, your children or other intended beneficiaries may not inherit your estate in accordance with your intentions. Although your loved ones may be able to contest your estate distribution in court, it isn't a cheap or easy battle.

Tip No. 2: Don't Forget Retirement Accounts and Insurance Policies

Another mistake individuals make when revising their estate plan after a breakup or divorce is neglecting to change the beneficiary designation on their insurance policies and retirement accounts.

Your assets may range from your house to your investment properties to your Murano glass collection, but they also include payouts from your 401K, pension, and life insurance policy. If you don't want your ex benefiting under these plans, you'll need to remove their name from the policies.

Tip No. 3: Don't DIY Your Estate Plan Revisions

You shouldn't go through a breakup alone, and you shouldn't revise your estate plan alone either. Your estate plan may involve sophisticated trust instruments or beneficiary designations that require review and revision by an experienced California lawyer. You may also need to consider the effect of pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements.

When to Call an Experienced San Diego Estate Planning Lawyer

Your estate plan is your legacy, and it needs to change when you do. You should speak with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer anytime you experience significant change in your life. To learn more, call DME & Associates LLC today at (805) 312-8059.