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The Importance Of An Estate Planning Attorney During Divorce

importance of estate planning attorney during divorce

If you have been seriously considering divorce but didn’t take action before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and prior to the social unrest that is deepening the economic stress throughout the country, everything could be different now. Divorce is never easy, and it can become more painful in the midst of economic decline.

However, if you have decided to move forward with your divorce, or when you do, there are many things that must be taken into consideration. Most people are aware of the obvious things especially if young children are a factor. On the other hand, if you’ve been married a long time, you and your spouse may have forgotten about legal plans you might have drawn up years ago. Or you may be retired and need to address estate planning anew in light of the divorce.


Estate Plans That Are Not Updated

I have actually had cases in which an ex-spouse has died, and the beneficiary designation on the divorced couples’ estate plan had never been updated. In these types of cases, the living ex-spouse is still named as beneficiary and can legally inherit the assets. Of course, this typically leads to litigation and very serious unintended consequences.


Hire An Estate Planning Attorney

An Estate Planning and Asset Protection Attorney is often the most important part of your divorce team. You don’t want to trust the important financial aspects of divorce to a divorce lawyer. They have very different concerns.

An Estate Planning Attorney can review the divorce settlement and look for any gaps. Are you protected from state and federal estate taxes? What’s the impact of divorce on retirement account beneficiaries? Are you and your heirs adequately provided for in the event of your ex’s death? What about your wishes for the children if you pass away while they are still young?

Another important bit of information is that you need to hire your own estate planning attorney rather than continue with the one who drew up a plan for you and your spouse. Under most state laws, when couples are jointly represented, everything you tell the lawyer, even privately, is not confidential from your spouse.


Divorce Creates An Imperative Need For Estate Planning Strategies

Most people preparing to go through or currently going through divorce are in emotional upheaval and turmoil. Having someone look after your vital financial needs is imperative. Estate planning is never top of mind or at the top of the divorce to-do list. However, there are potential consequences that can be devastating due to specific action or inaction that need to be considered at each stage of a divorce proceeding. It’s important to arm yourself with information as well as a qualified Estate Planning attorney.

If you are considering divorce or in the midst of divorce proceedings and want to make sure your interests are being properly considered, give us a call. We can review and update existing estate plans, as well as create and implement planning strategies.



Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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