Estate Planning Divorce Lawyers in Atlanta Shielding Your Estate From a Former Spouse
It should go without saying that the legal system in the United States is complex, and when it comes to family law, things can get even more complicated. If you are going through or about to go through a divorce, you need an experienced attorney on your side who understands the ins and outs of Georgia family law. At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we have years of experience helping people just like you protect their estates during and after a divorce.
When most people think of estate planning, they think of wills and trusts. But there are many other aspects to estate planning that are just as important, especially when it comes to divorces. For example, if you are going through a divorce, you will want to make sure that your ex-spouse does not get any part of your estate. This can be done with a prenuptial agreement or by changing your will and trust after the divorce proceedings are finalized.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we understand the importance of protecting your estate during and after a divorce. We will work hard to make sure that your assets are protected from your former spouse and that you receive what is rightfully yours under Georgia law. Give us a call today at 404-738-5805 to speak with our estate planning attorneys about how we can help you.
What is an Estate Plan?
People often resist talking about the inevitable, and estate planning involves just that. In our experience, though, we’ve found that most clients, once they get started and put all the pieces of the estate planning documents together, are relieved having gone through the process. When you create an estate plan, you’ve done all you can to provide for your children and others who are close to you in the event they have to go on without you, figuring out the answer to the question; what is included in an estate plan?
- Here is a list of the instruments that make up the typical estate plan:
- Life Insurance
- Last Will and Testament
- Inter Vivos Trust (also known as a Living Trust)
- General Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Living Will
You may wonder, is there a ‘template’ estate plan? No two estates are the same. We tailor each plan to the family or individual it is meant to serve. Furthermore, we will offer you the education you need for maintaining and implementing your plan in the future.
You may prepare to modify your estate plan during the divorce, but executing some of those changes before your divorce is final may violate the standing order issued in your case. Keep in mind that your divorce isn’t final until the judge signs your decree, so refrain from making certain changes until that happens and discuss these matters in detail with your divorce and estate planning attorney.
What Insurance is Included in an Estate Plan?
To get started on your estate plan, you first need to gather all your important documents. This includes any insurance policies you have. You will want to take a close look at your life insurance policy and make sure that the beneficiaries are up to date. You will also want to look at any other insurance policies you have, such as health, auto, and homeowners. Make sure that the beneficiaries of these policies are also up to date and that they reflect your current wishes.
Life insurance is an important component of one’s essential estate plan, especially when there are children who will need support. When spousal support or child support is part of your divorce decree, you may be ordered to continue a policy or acquire a policy that maintains your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. You may choose from many life insurance products, including term life, variable life, and whole life.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies provide coverage for a specific length of time. There is no equity or cash value, so a term life policy is not an investment tool. As you get older, or as your health diminishes, the premium generally increases, or, in the alternative, the amount paid on death decreases. When it comes to cost savings, these policies may be a good option for you and easier on your insurance budget.
Variable Life Insurance
The variable life insurance policy is a combination of insurance and investment, and investments always involve risk. Once the money is taken out to pay the premium, the remainder is invested. For this policy to work as an investment vehicle, more money is paid by the policyholder than is needed to cover the premiums. There is a guaranteed minimum payment on death under the insurance. There is a potential that the invested portion will also provide money on death, but as with any investment, there is no guaranteed rate of return. These policies tend to be much more costly than other life insurance products.
Whole Life Insurance
The whole life insurance policy is a long-term approach to life insurance. The policy will provide coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime at a set premium. Typically, the premium is paid over the duration of the policy, up until the death of the insured. If you are willing to stay with one insurance company for life, this may be an option for you.
Should I be Concerned About my Estate if a Divorce is Pending?
When married, it is far simpler to avoid planning an estate because most things automatically go to one’s spouse under the state’s laws of intestate succession. Planning concerns are usually limited to what happens if both parents are deceased in a common tragic event, such as an automobile accident in which neither spouse survives.
Think about this for a moment, though. If you inherit property or money before your divorce is finalized, then such an inheritance is your separate property and is not subject to division in the divorce. But how is your property distributed if you do not have a Will and you don’t survive the finalization of your divorce? This may not be what you want to hear, but your assets — marital and separate — may go directly to your “surviving spouse” under Georgia’s laws of intestate succession.
Furthermore, your surviving spouse would be first in line to seek a probate appointment as a Personal Representative of your intestate estate. The reciprocal is also true, of course, should your spouse die without a Will before the divorce is final.
We assist individuals and their families with their estate planning needs, whether it be for asset protection in preparation for divorce or planning for public benefits. If you have questions regarding planning your estate, call us today to set up a consultation to help you determine what amount of estate planning is right for you and your family.
How can a Lawyer Help Me Protect My Estate in a Divorce?
If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you may be worried about what will happen to your property and assets. An experienced lawyer can help you protect your interests and make sure that your estate is divided fairly in the event of a divorce.
There are many different aspects to consider when it comes to dividing up property in a divorce, including who will get the family home, how savings and retirement accounts will be divided, and what will happen to debt. An experienced lawyer can help you understand all these issues and make sure that your rights are protected.
In some cases, it may be possible to reach an agreement with your spouse about how to divide your property. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide how to divide your property. The court will consider many different factors when making this decision, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and assets, and each spouse’s needs.
Estate planning is an important part of protecting your assets in the event of a divorce. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you create a plan that will shield your assets from being divided in a divorce. If you are facing a divorce in Atlanta, contact Atlanta Family Law Group LLC today to schedule a consultation with our experienced team at 404-738-5805.