If You Have A Will or Trust

If you have a will or similar estate planning document, such as a living trust, your spouse will typically be designated as the executor and/or trustee, and probably is named as the primary or sole beneficiary of your estate. Clearly, you should immediately review your will or living trust with an estate planning attorney to determine if you wish to make any changes. Keep in mind that most states have an "elective share statute" which provides that your spouse (whether estranged or not) will automatically be entitled to a certain percentage of your estate. However, through proper planning, there are a number of ways to avoid or limit the assets which are subject to the elective share, and to provide that your estranged spouse does not receive more of your estate than you want him or her to. You should seek the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney to modify your will, trust and other estate planning documents.’



Suggested Reading
Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions
This book is a practical guide to evaluating assets during divorce. It explains how to determine the real value of marital property including houses, businesses, retirement plans and investments and how to negotiate a settlement that is fair to both sides.

Authors: Violet Woodhouse & Dale Fetherling


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DON’T JUST RIP UP THE WILLS – Some former spouses imagine they can do estate planning by simply ripping up their old wills, but just ripping up the old will leave them intestate.

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