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Planning your estate after you divorce

With divorce comes a plethora of concerns about everything from raising healthy children to living without a spouse. While financial concerns are nearly always present, most people in the midst of divorce spare little or no thought to revising or planning their estates. This is normal and not necessarily, a concern for Texas citizens at the end of their marriages, but shortly thereafter, it is a good idea to give the matter some thought, according to a financial planner with Frances Financial.

The financial planner, along with other financial gurus, encourage divorcing or newly divorced people to follow up with estate planning. She offers up a checklist for people to rely on when they do eventually begin their estate planning. The first thing to consider if the divorce is not yet complete is to create a separation agreement detailing how property, debts, child support and spousal support is to be handled.

Once the divorce is complete, she recommends the following for residents of Texas and elsewhere in the nation:

-- Make sure the estranged spouse is removed from official documents such as insurance policies -- Plan for the loss of gift and tax benefits, which will disappear after the divorce -- Consider the pros and cons of buying wealth replacement insurance to cover any estate taxes that might be due upon death -- Determine if wills that existed prior to the divorce need to be ratified -- Parents responsible for childhood education payments should consider paying directly to the educational facility to avoid gift tax

While these often overlooked post-divorce concerns do not typically fall under your divorce attorney's umbrella, your lawyer can still give you advice about how to approach these tasks. By working together, you and your lawyer can begin building a solid financial foundation upon which to raise your family.

Source: Financial Planning, "Post-Divorce Estate Planning Checklist," Miriam Rozen, Aug. 17, 2015

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