Ashley Madison & Estate Planning: Establishing or Revising your estate plan after divorce.
The rippling effects of the Ashley Madison data leaks are not only sending men and women to the doghouse, but also to their divorce attorneys.
This entire situation is a grave reminder that marriage is not always eternal, and it is advised that you see an estate planning attorney immediately after the initial divorce consultation.
Why should divorce automatically lead to an estate planning update?
If you don’t update your will, trust and beneficiary designations, your ex can inherit them upon your death.
According to the Florida Bar Journal, under Florida law, a surviving spouse is entitled to their share (maybe 100 percent) of the estate and any interest in nontestamentary transfers (e.g., via joint ownership or beneficiary designation) unless a final decree of divorce has been entered.
If the individual does not have a will or estate plan, and has children from a previous marriage, Florida law provides to the surviving spouse the first $60,000 plus one-half of the balance of the estate. One of just many reasons why it is so essential to meet with an estate planning attorney during this time, including the fact that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse probably shouldn’t be the one to decide when to “pull the plug” and remove you from life support.
When one does meet with an estate plan attorney, it is important to ask them the following questions:
- How can I ensure my property will be passed on appropriately?
- Who will obtain custody of my children when I am gone?
- Have my tax considerations changed now that I am single?
- If I remarry, how will that affect my estate plan?
- Are there any other documents I need to review or update?
We hope this data leak is a little more helpful than the one Ashley Madison provided.
If you are interested in learning more about estate planning or asset protection, please visit www.wfplaw.com or contact us at 954.944.2855.