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Reducing the odds of estate plan complications during divorce

During a divorce, it may be a good idea for Ohio residents and others to review their estate plan. Failing to do so could result in having an unintended beneficiary to one or more assets. For instance, if a former spouse is named the sole or largest beneficiary to a trust, that person could receive money or other assets inside of it instead of family members.

Typically, making changes to a trust entails little more than working with an attorney to make an edit to the document. Ideally, changes will be made to the estate plan as soon as possible even before the divorce is finalized. If the divorce isn't finalized when a person dies, the current terms of his or her estate plan will likely be followed. It may also be a good idea to get court orders as soon as possible in an effort to keep costs down.

In some cases, it may be possible to split retirement accounts in half so that it only takes one order for it to happen. If one party dies before the order could be executed, the divorce documents will generally need to be followed to the letter. This could result in multiple orders being filed with the court, which could lead to time and money spent unnecessarily.

Making changes to an estate plan in a timely manner after a divorce may make the distribution of assets easier after passing. If the asset is held in a trust, the trustee or that person's representative may make edits relatively quickly. Those who have questions about estate planning or how to edit an existing plan may wish to speak with an attorney. This person may be able to help edit existing documents or create new ones if necessary.

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