California Divorce Blog–Divorce and Your Living Trust

People who are starting the divorce process in California should consider drafting a Will and/or Revocable Living Trust. Many people tell me that they want to revise their Living Trust after their divorce is finalized. There are many problems with this approach. First, in the event you pass away while your divorce is pending the result is that your divorce case is dismissed and the terms of your Will or Revocable Living Trust control. For most people, this means that you leave everything you own to your spouse! Yes, this is the spouse who you were seeking to divorce prior to passing away. This is almost certainly not the desired result for most people.

To avoid this potential pitfall, I suggest that you have a new Will and Revocable Living Trust drafted prior to filing for divorce. If your divorce case is pending then it is not too late to have a new Will and Revocable Living Trust drafted. This will allow you to have your share of the marital assets distributed to your beneficiaries whenever you pass away. Also, it relieves you of having to worry about your soon to be Ex Spouse receiving a windfall by receiving your 50% of the marital assets in the event of your untimely demise.

You may also want to have a new Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney formed. This document specifies who you want to make health care decisions in the event you are still alive yet disabled. This typically arises in a situation where a person is comatose and unable to act on their own behalf. If you have your spouse named as the person in charge then this may be your unlucky day because you are also divorcing your spouse in our hypothetical. What if you and your spouse are estranged? Do you really want your spouse deciding whether to pull the plug?

It is important that you discuss estate planning issues with your divorce attorney at the outset of your case. Please call Attorney Keith F. Simpson today to discuss your Family Law case at (310) 297-9090. The Law Offices of Keith F. Simpson, A Professional Corporation, are located in Manhattan Beach, California. You may also visit the website at http://www.simpsonlaw.net to e-mail Attorney Keith F. Simpson today.

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