Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Estate Planning During Divorce
Amar S. Weisman Is a Baltimore County Domestic Lawyer With Experience Helping Divorcing Clients Modify Their Last Wills & Testaments.
For individuals who are going through a tumultuous divorce, making changes to a will or other estate plan documents may be one of the last things on their minds -- or on their to-do lists. Still, it is very important to update all of your documents because if you don’t, your assets could end up being distributed in a manner you did not expect or intend.
To ensure your wishes are carried out upon your death, consider taking the following steps:
Change/Update All Designated Beneficiaries
Many people might not realize that a number of assets actually pass outside of an individual’s will to the selected beneficiary that has been named on certain documents commonly provided by insurers and banks. That said, you should make sure that your life insurance policies, pay-on-death bank accounts, transfer-on-death brokerage accounts and IRAs/401k accounts have been updated with the appropriate beneficiary of your choosing.
If you are choosing a different beneficiary for these assets, you can ask for new documents from your employer, bank or brokerage company and resubmit them right away to ensure the new designations are properly and promptly noted.
Draft a New Will…and Revoke Your Old One
If you have an existing will, you are encouraged to revoke that will once your divorce has been finalized and create a new one that denotes your current wishes. And if you never had a will in place, it is probably a good time to create one.
A will is simply a document that clearly explains your wishes with respect to the property you own. The document will name an individual (an executor) who will be responsible for handling your estate when that time arises, as well as denote a guardian for any small children who may still be living at the time of your death.
With respect to property, it is not uncommon for married couples to simply leave everything they own to the other spouse in the event of his or her death. However, with a divorce pending, you may want to make various changes in that regard. Accordingly, you may find it wise to draft a new will, making sure to name new beneficiaries, as well as alternates in case your original beneficiary does not outlive you.
Create/Update All Powers of Attorney Documents
A power of attorney document is one that gives another individual the authority (or power) to act on your behalf. Such documents are usually a major part of a person’s estate plan. Many people who have powers of attorney documents often have two different ones -- one related to making medical decisions and the other for handling financial matters.
Call For a Free Consultation
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore & Towson Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area including Aberdeen. Abingdon, Annapolis, Baltimore, Bel Air, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Glen Burnie, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Severna Park,Towson, Westminster and White Marsh. We also have extensive experience representing out-of-state clients.