ESTATE PLANNING FOR BLENDED FAMILIES
Most people do not realize that a divorce does not automatically affect your Will. In other words, unless you planned for and had your will drafted with a clear contingency in the event of divorce the likelihood is that a divorce will necessitate revisiting your will and your estate plan.
Most people want to ensure that their spouse is removed as the executor/executrix and essentially disinherited as a result of divorce. This is quite common and natural result of divorce. It becomes more complicated when children are involved, however, especially minor children. Consider trying to leave a cash award (or life insurance) to a 7-year-old minor child in the amount of $100,000? We all know you cannot really do that. What needs to happen is that a trust be established for the benefit of the minor child. This can be done within a will (if it’s simple) or in a separate trust document.
The Next Key Question
The next step, of course, is who to make the “trustee” or the person who will handle the funds until the are distributed to or used for the minor child. Along with the question of who we must consider the terms of the trust, such as whether the trust may be used for the minor before they are of age for things like education or support? Do you want to allow the trustee a great deal of discretion or not? You can set up a trust with strict rules or lose rules, or with basically no rules other than for the use and “benefit” of the minor child. You can force the trustee to make formal accounting (they should anyway for cash) to help discourage any horseplay.
These are hard questions that require real thought and consideration. We can assist you in reviewing your options and plotting the best course available.
Our Raleigh family law firm can help you decide:
- How to fund a trust
- What rules should govern it
- Who should be the trustee and administer it
- How best to guard against the unforeseen
Call us today to your review your post divorce estate plan.
Contact Us to Get Professional Legal Assistance: (919) 301-8843
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