When people decide to pursue a California divorce, they are basically making the decision to separate one legal entity that was the marital estate into two separate estates in the eyes of California law. This can be a complicated process for many reasons, and one of the complicated issues that tends to arise involves reworking any estate planning that’s previously been done. If you are facing this situation, you need to seek the help of experienced San Diego divorce lawyers. Below is a brief overview of this step in the divorce process.
Review the Existing Estate Plan
The first step towards properly dealing with the estate planning aspect of a California divorce is to make sure that all of the documents that describe and/or govern the specific arrangements are organized and gathered so that they can be reviewed. At this point, overlooking any instruments that may dictate how the estate is administered could lead to seriously problematic consequences in the future. Therefore, a thorough review of these documents will provide the parties with a starting point towards dissolution.
Generally, a California divorce will not by itself change the status or the particulars of estate planning documents. While there are exceptions, the best way to go about handling this issue is to make the necessary changes to these documents before the divorce is filed, as there are certain restrictions to these changes that arise while a California divorce case is pending.
If you need to wait until after the divorce case is complete, you should waste no time in making those changes so that there is no confusion in case something unexpected arises. Specifically, a spouse who is dealing with this situation should look to any wills, trusts, living trusts, financial powers of attorney and life insurance policies to make sure that the beneficiaries named are those that are intended to obtain the benefits conferred.
Document the Changes
Ultimately, when the changes to these documents are made, you’ll need to be sure that they are done in a proper and legally binding manner. For instance, changing some of these instruments will require a witness signature or some other form of proof that these changes were made without the presence of duress or fraud.
How San Diego Divorce Lawyers Can Help
For people who are pursuing a California divorce, dealing with the estate planning aspect of the marital estate may seem like just one more thing that needs to be handled. However, this is an important step to take, and those who need to take it need to seek the help of San Diego divorce lawyers who have helped many fathers and husbands move on with their lives. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.