Calabasas estate planning

Calabasas Estate Planning Lawyers: How Prenuptial Planning Offers Protection Against Life’s “What-Ifs”

Now that vaccinations have started and “normal” life is within our grasp, many couples are starting to resume their wedding plans. Those who have had to postpone their big day or got engaged during the pandemic are once again starting to put deposits on venues, purchasing gowns, and even planning honeymoons. However, Calabasas estate planning lawyers want everyone to know that estate planning and prenuptial agreements should be part of the process along with selecting flowers and all the “fun stuff.”

All marriages celebrate the joining of two lives together, a union of family and finances. And while estate planning is not exactly romantic, it can create a feeling of being protected even if the worst happens. Likewise, creating a prenup before the marriage can offer each partner security and confidence that all of their bases are covered as they enter into the union. Essentially, it sets forth how all property, assets, childcare, and spousal support would work IF the marriage did not survive. The prenup’s contents depend on the unique needs of each couple and the document is designed to protect each partner if the marriage were ending.

Couples are encouraged to create an estate plan together, but each partner will need their own lawyer when creating a prenuptial agreement. The reason is simple; the prenup is meant to protect each partner separate from the other. It is also vital to select an attorney in the state where the couple plans to reside, as there may be different laws regarding support after a marriage ends.

Calabasas estate planning lawyers are quick to point out that a prenuptial agreement is often a process that keeps marriages from ending in divorce. Starting the marriage on a strong financial foundation can bind couples closer together. It gives them an open and honest place to discuss financial plans, ideas on fidelity, wishes for the future, and how each views the marriage before entering the contract.

If you or a loved one is getting married, please consider an estate plan and prenuptial agreement as part of the wedding plans. That way, as you walk down the aisle, you know that no matter what, your future is protected. Call one of our estate planning lawyers at 818-334-2805 to schedule a consultation.

San Fernando Valley will and trust lawyer

Estate Planning and Divorce: What to Know | San Fernando Valley Will and Trust Lawyer

Estate planning offers legal protection for families and individuals through all of life’s transitions. Using tools such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives, estate planning helps individuals protect their wishes, safeguard their assets, and ensure provision and care for their loved ones following their death or incapacity.  

What Does My Estate Plan Have to Do with My Divorce?

 Your estate plan can be impacted greatly if it’s not updated after a divorce. For example, if your ex-spouse has been named as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, he or she may still be able to collect the proceeds if you suddenly pass away without updating your documents. Your ex-spouse may also retain authority roles as your power of attorney or healthcare agent unless you revoke such power. As a single adult, you must also name the people you now want to act on your behalf or manage your affairs in an emergency once the role is no longer filled by your ex-spouse.

 Won’t a Divorce Automatically Stop My Ex-Spouse from Having Such Power?

 Again, not necessarily. In many states, a divorce does not nullify the beneficiaries named on accounts, nor will it prevent an ex-spouse from serving in authority roles where he or she may retain the ability to make life or death medical decisions or manage the ex-spouse’s money during incapacity. That is why you must update your documents after a divorce to be certain that your ex no longer has this power.

 What Documents Should I Update?

 While everyone’s estate plan is different, the following are the most common documents that should be updated after a divorce: 

·      Will

·      Trust

·      Power of Attorney

·      Healthcare Directive

·      Beneficiary Designations on Life Insurance Policies

·      Beneficiary Designations on Retirement Plans

·      Beneficiaries on any accounts with Transfer on Death Provisions

 Getting Help

 Each state has laws that dictate when documents can be updated or altered as you move through the divorce proceedings. It’s important to speak with an experienced San Fernando Valley will and trust lawyer before you make any changes, as any unapproved transfers or changes to your documents could be considered fraudulent. If you need help getting started, we are here to assist you with your planning. Contact our office by calling (818) 334-2805 to schedule an appointment.