Divorcing? Here’s What You Should Know About How it May Affect Your Trust… Christine’s Family Wealth Secrets

Hi:

Did you watch the eclipse this morning?  We looked at it through welding glass yielding a green crescent, and through “eclipse” glasses, yielding an orange crescent.  Both were interesting, and the eclipse cast a rather eerie shadow on the morning.  It was as if someone literally blotted out the sun or in the alternative, it was evening in the morning.  Apparently the schools did little, if anything, to share this unique event with the student body. That was a missed opportunity and in my humble opinion, a real shame.

Do you have an estate plan, and are now going through a divorce?  Sometimes it can seem like you completed your plan for nothing, when the assets are being divvied up. Check out the article today with a few key pointers on how to handle trust assets so as not to go astray of the law and land yourself in more hot water with your soon to be ex and the family law judge.  If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call and we will guide you through your best options.

Until next time,

Christine

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Divorcing? Here’s What You Should Know About How it May Affect Your Trust

Trusts vary in their structure, funding, and terms, so it’s hard to know how divorce will impact your trust without review. It’s safe to say, without question, your trust (and really your entire estate plan) should be reviewed during your divorce to prevent unforeseen negative outcomes.

The impact of a divorce on your trust can depend on:

The Trust’s Structure
Trusts frequently name the spouse as a trustee and beneficiary. In divorce, clarify your wishes in regards to these provisions. Even if you want to keep each other in your financial plans going forward, the trust should be amended appropriately after your divorce is complete, so your intention is clear.

Whether It’s Revocable or Irrevocable
If it’s revocable, changing the terms of the trust is easy, but you may have to wait until after your divorce is final to do it due to “orders” that go into effect when you file for divorce that prevent you from moving assets. If your trust is irrevocable, it might be necessary to petition the court to change the trustees, and the trust assets themselves may or may not be part of the divorce judgment.

Your State’s Laws on Community Property
Divorcing parties sometimes attempt to shield assets in trusts to keep them out of the pockets of the soon to be ex. When done surreptitiously, this could significantly complicate the divorce. Even when the assets in a trust are separate property, the income from the trust might still be considered for child support and alimony purposes.

Trusts can be affected by divorce, so you should take steps to protect your trust and your intentions. If you are ready to take that step, meet with us for guidance.

As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we can help you navigate your divorce so your assets, including those held in trusts, remain under your direction and control.  Our Family Wealth Planning Session guides you to protect and preserve what matters most. Before the session, we’ll send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your family is taken care of.

We don’t just draft documents, we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love.  That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.

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