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Without correct planning, divorce may still be overruled by death

In the grip of emotional turmoil, it is easy for many things to be overlooked. When California residents are thinking about divorce, they may have many thoughts about property division and perhaps even the immediate future. However, there is one important area that should also be considered at this time, namely the area of estate planning. This aspect of one's future may be affected quite significantly, not only by the act of divorce but also by the outcome of the settlement.

Life insurance and retirement plans may be set up with the spouse as the beneficiary in the event of the death of the insured party, so it is likely that this is something one will wish to reconsider. Similarly, there may be changes to beneficiaries, either by the amounts involved or by the addition or removal of the people designated. It may also be necessary to contact the organizations managing the assets, in order to ensure that one's wishes are properly executed.

The future of any children involved is also an important consideration. While it may be that the custody arrangements take care of matters at this time, circumstances could unfold where the designation of a guardian of one's children is necessary. In addition, trusts may be set up to benefit children or other dependents in the future, and these too may be affected by a variety of factors.

Whatever one's financial position, reviewing estate planning either during or shortly after divorce is a sensible move. The divorce attorney may also be consulted in order to coordinate efforts, particularly with regard to property division negotiations. Enlisting the help of appropriate advisers will allow California residents to make good decisions about what happens to their assets after their deaths. This may bring some peace of mind about the future of the people for whom one wishes to provide.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Divorcing? How to make sure your ex doesn't end up with your assets", Melissa Montgomery-Fitzsimmons, Mar. 7, 2016

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