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Why You Need to Modify Your Estate Plan During A Divorce

BY: Law Offices of Andrew Cohen | January 14, 2021

The end of a marriage is rarely a light decision, but sometimes a necessary one. As spouses consult divorce attorneys to divvy up the life they have built together, several big decisions are on the table. How much will one spouse pay for child support? Will there be spousal support? Who retains the main property?

One of the big decisions needs to be, how does this affect our estate plan?

At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, we want to ensure your finances and beneficiaries are protected during this challenging time. California has an auto-response for estates during a divorce. If that is not the plan you want for your estate, you need an estate planning attorney in Santa Clarita, California. You need the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen.

California Law’s Auto-Response

According to the State of California Department of Justice, a divorce will serve to reset your estate plan. However, if a spouse becomes incapacitated or passes before the divorce is final, the estranged spouse will retain certain rights.

  • An estranged spouse can still receive the full benefits of the existing estate plan. If the divorce proceedings last for years and you are planning to remarry, you may want your soon-to-be wife to be the primary beneficiary. If you do not have a new estate plan that clearly states your wishes, your estranged spouse will have control over your benefits.
  • If the spouse is a non-resident or non-citizen, a qualified domestic trust will allow them certain estate rights.
  • You will need an estate plan that explicitly states what to do in the event of your death or incapacitation.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Affects Divorce and Estate Planning

Prenuptial agreements are made to protect both spouses in the event of a divorce and can have an enormous impact on estate planning. Most notably, a prenup can nullify or alter an estate plan. It is important to give a copy of the prenuptial agreement to your estate planning attorney.

Like estate plans, prenups are meant to be continually updated. In the event of a divorce, you will need an estate planning attorney to secure your wishes. Prenups seek to:

In the event of a divorce, prenuptial agreements, existing estate plans, wills and trusts may be in conflict. If you have not kept the documents updated throughout the marriage, divorce proceedings will create challenges in creating a unified goal for your estate.

Why Law Offices of Andrew Cohen

California law can be cumbersome and challenging to navigate. You need an expert in the field to secure your wishes for passing down your assets. At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, we offer comprehensive estate planning to rectify conflicting prenups, wills, trusts, and existing estate plans. We know how hard you’ve worked for your life. Protect it with Law Offices of Andrew Cohen. When you need an estate planning attorney in Santa Clarita, California, contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 661-481-0100.

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