A major life event, such as a divorce, is a good time to review and revise your estate plan if you already have one or to create one if you do not. At the Law Office of Bruce A. Danford, we know that you probably devote a lot of time and energy to providing for your children’s needs, especially if they are under the age of 18. Following a divorce, you need to ensure that you have provided adequately for the needs of your minor children after your death, particularly as it relates to finances and guardianship.
As explained in Forbes Magazine, if you have minor children, it is a very good idea to establish a trust for them and fund it with the assets you want them to receive after your death. If you are not especially wealthy, you may not think that this is necessary. However, creating a trust allows you to place the responsibility for your children’s finances in the hands of a trustworthy person of your own choosing. In the absence of a trust, the control of your children’s finances would otherwise go to your ex-spouse, and you may consider that an unsuitable arrangement.
Ordinarily, if a divorced parent dies, the other parent gains guardianship of any minor children. However, there may be issues with substance use or other problems that make you uncomfortable with the idea of your ex-spouse becoming your children’s guardian. In your will, you can name another guardian for your children whom you think would be more suitable. You should know, though, that this may lead to a legal dispute in which your ex-spouse challenges your will. More information about estate planning is available on our website.