The divorce rate amongst those over the age of 50 is on the rise. This poses a unique set of issues, including the impact of the divorce on estate planning. Three specific ways divorce can impact estate planning considerations in these situations include:
Putting together an estate plan can help to reduce the risk of conflict when it comes time to manage a loved one’s estate. The creator’s plan can provide loved ones with guidance on the distribution of the assets within the estate.
Part of a comprehensive estate plan is coordinating your account beneficiary designations with your will, trusts, gifting and other estate planning techniques. In other words, when you do your 2020 estate plan checkup, you and your attorney should sit down and look comprehensively at the wider picture of your wealth that includes life insurance, annuity and retirement account beneficiaries that you have designated.
Creating safety nets and directing your affairs after death are not always top of list. But in this season of togetherness with family and evaluating who and what is important in your life, estate planning really is a logical focus. If you have avoided futures planning, the new year can be a time to direct attention to your long-term affairs and consult an attorney about your estate planning needs
Colorado law provides that when a surviving spouse is disinherited by or receives little under the terms of their deceased spouse’s will, the survivor has the right to take an elective share of the estate instead of what the will provides. Basically, and from a public policy standpoint, the spouse’s elective share is a legal vehicle to provide support for a spouse whose deceased spouse left them little or nothing.
Colorado probate law provides a legal remedy for a surviving spouse when the other spouse dies with a will executed before the marriage that does not provide for the surviving spouse. In May, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided that a surviving spouse was not eligible to take an omitted spouse share of her deceased husband’s estate because he had named her the beneficiary of $4 million in life insurance proceeds and $410,806 in retirement benefits. They also had owned $52,000 in money accounts jointly.
Many people have heard of the recent phenomenon of “döstädning” — Swedish death cleaning. The idea is that a person should sort through and pare down their possessions in anticipation of death so that family will not have to do it.
According to a new CNBC article, 17 percent of divorced or widowed people marry again, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. Interestingly, the remarriage rate has increased only among people 55 and older.
When a person passes away, he or she usually leaves behind not only assets, but also valid debts and liabilities. At our law firm, we sometimes represent creditors trying to collect debts that survive the deaths of the deceased people who became liable for those debts during their lifetimes.
At our law firm, we provide estate planning advice and services to Colorado clients at all levels of wealth, but for those at upper tax brackets, it is important to evaluate if and how federal gift and estate taxes could impact choices to make lifetime gifts as well as estate planning choices to minimize tax liability.