Planning When Divorced or Widowed
Orange County Estate Planning Law Firm
Whether due to divorce or death, you are now Single Again. You may have children and even grandchildren. In any event, you need to create (or revisit) your estate plan. Merhab Robinson & Clarkson, Law Corporation helps you with planning when divorced or widowed to protect your relationships and assets.
Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Now that you are single again, who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?
Unless you legally appoint the decision-maker of your own selection in advance through proper estate planning, then a probate judge will select one for you. The probate court process to accomplish this is expensive (it employs at least three attorneys), discloses your private personal and financial information to the public record and is a real hassle for your loved ones. Did you know that in the absence of proper estate planning, your assets may be distributed after death based on “one-size-fits-all” state laws written for people who do not have their own estate plan? Of course, this impersonal estate plan written by California state lawmakers may not reflect your own unique circumstances and objectives for your loved ones and assets.
What if you remarry? Well, if you want to risk losing about half of what you have should the remarriage not work out and disinheriting your own children and grandchildren, then do nothing. On the other hand, it is best to go into a new relationship with both eyes open.
In short, you need to have a legally enforceable premarital agreement inked before you say “I do” on your wedding day.
In a recent University of California study, researchers found that 60% of widowers are involved in a new relationship within two years after losing their wives, while only 20% of widows have a new relationship.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, men are 10 times more likely to remarry after age 65. And the average time before they are remarried is just 2.5 years. When dad remarries a new wife some 20 years his junior, that can trigger all kinds of drama in the family, to say the least. Our blog offers recommendations for blended families.
As you can see, planning when divorced or widowed includes considering any new relationships on the future, while preserving (and protecting) the relationships you already have.
Fortunately, Estate Planning Attorney Paula Clarkson can help you avoid probate and replace that impersonal, state-written, one-size-fits-all estate plan with one we design together for your unique circumstances and objectives. We even help you coordinate the beneficiary designations on your life insurance and retirement plans with your estate plan to avoid unpleasant, unintended consequences.