Estate planning is critical at all stages of an adult's life. However, it is especially critical for people who are going through divorce. Unfortunately, the stress of the divorce process can easily cause them to neglect essential estate planning steps involving wills and trusts. Here are a few tips for making sure that one's assets are protected following a divorce proceeding in New York.
First and foremost, it is critical that newly divorced individuals reevaluate and update their wills. After all, divorces typically mean changes in assets, and it is important that wills reflect these changes. In addition, if a former spouse was previously chosen as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, one may wish to change this beneficiary designation.
Likewise, it is critical to reevaluate existing trusts or to set up trusts. Putting assets in trusts can assure that these items go to the proper beneficiaries when the asset owners die. Trusts are especially helpful for parents who wish to defer the distribution of their assets until their children are 18 years old.
Putting together wills, trusts and other estate planning documents can understandably seem challenging to do, especially for those who have amassed a large number of assets over the years. In addition, having to think about the possibility of death may deter some people from wanting to embark on the estate planning process. However, failure to create estate plans may mean that people's assets will end up in unintended hands when they pass away. An attorney in New York can provide asset owners with the guidance they need to generate well-thought-out estate plans that will reflect their wishes long-term.