The rate of breakup of marriages and marriage-like relationships is as high as it’s ever been.
It is a complicated process, largely because there are many concerns to address at once, especially where there are minor children. There can be spousal support, child support, custody and asset division claims, and usually one of the spouses needs to find a new place to live.
In the midst of all of it, Estate planning changes should also be addressed around the time of separation, not at the time of divorce (which can come much later).
To start, in my opinion, each of the spouses should make a new Will to choose a new Executor and, most certainly, to change the asset distribution.
Otherwise, to secure child support or even spousal support obligations, life insurance policies should be arranged as soon as reasonably possible. Any existing Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements should also be considered, as to whether each spouse ought to change their Attorney and/or Representative.
Tax considerations are also significant at such times, so each spouse should see an Accountant as well.
This ad originally appeared in the Richmond News on October 9, 2015.