Approximately 55% of Americans do not have a will or other estate plan. A will or estate plan is an important legal tool for you and your family. Probate can last for months if not years, depending on how complicated your estate and finances are. Probate courts do allow for a family allowance during the process, but this amount is often not enough to handle everything that you did not plan for. It is estimated that probate costs families up to $2 billion a year, and $1.5 billion of that goes to pay attorney fees. Having an attorney create and maintain your will now can save you and your family a lot of money and worry in the long run.
After a divorce is finalized, most people do not think about the effect the divorce has on their estate planning if they have something in place. A divorce causes the former spouse to be treated as though they have already passed away, which can complicate your planning. Additionally, life insurance and retirement plans are contractual in nature and are not affected by your will. If you have designated your former spouse as the beneficiary of these policies and do not change them after your divorce, your ex-spouse will still get these funds should you die.
Having an attorney review your planning every five years or less is always a good idea, and if you are recently divorced you should have your planning reviewed.
If you are seeking legal advice about estate planning, please call us at 317-708-9410 to schedule a confidential consultation, or email us at [email protected]