Divorce negates any will you currently have in effect, so it is important to take care of your testamentary issues at the same time or shortly after your divorce proceedings. The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center can offer you help in making a will that can protect your interests and your assets and preserve them for your designated beneficiaries.
Wills and Testaments
Most people have had some exposure to testamentary law, the area of the law that concerns wills and estates. However, many people are also misinformed about the scope and purpose of a will and what can or cannot be accomplished by making one.
Here is a short list of things that a will can and cannot do:
|A will can:||A will cannot:|
|Distribute your property to the heirs you designate and in the amounts you choose.||Completely transfer property that is held jointly; you can, however, transfer your interest in that property to someone else.|
|Designate a guardian for your minor children in the event that neither you nor your partner survives to raise them.||Grant custody of your children to someone else. Only a court can grant custody.|
|Create a trust to protect the assets you leave to your children and designate a trustee to manage those funds.||Create a trust without a reliable trustee to manage the money; you must designate someone to do this important job.|
|Help you shelter your assets from certain taxes.||Exempt your estate from all taxes.|
The primary purpose in making a will is in disposing of your assets. To this end, you may want a will that includes a trust, since the next-most-likely recipients for your assets are your children. Minor children can inherit under a will, but whoever is their guardian will have control over their money until they turn 18. If your ex is that person, you may wish to protect their assets by making a will that contains a trust. Be sure to appoint a trustee that will take good care of the money you leave your children; many people choose a parent, sibling or trusted friend.
You can also designate a guardian for your children, but you must understand that your former spouse is the natural choice for custody unless there is a reason not to place the children with their parent. Unless you both die, your choice of guardian is a suggestion only.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to help you with your divorce and creating a good will to protect your children or other family members. Contact us today for more information.