Estate Planning

Serving the greater Columbus, Franklin county and Central Ohio areas.

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Ohio Estate Planning Attorneys

Equitable Distribution specialists with over 59 years of experience.

Divorce has many repercussions, some of which are unforeseen. As experienced attorneys, we have found that many clients who go through a high asset divorce also need to rework their estate plan.  If they don’t, then their children and other heirs will be surprised at how property is distributed according to the current will or trust.

To make sure you get an estate plan that works for you, be sure to discuss any revisions when meeting to discuss your high asset divorce.

Changing Beneficiary Designations

Many people have substantial assets that do not pass through probate. For example, your life insurance, investment accounts, and retirement accounts probably required that you name a beneficiary when you opened them. This beneficiary will inherit the account when you die.

Probably the last person you want to take this property is your ex-spouse, so you need to update your designations on these policies. You also need to think carefully about who you name. People with high net worth frequently are worried about the tax implications of their estate plan, so you want assistance from a seasoned attorney who can consider the best way to achieve tax-deferred growth.

Revising a Will or Trust

You should also change the beneficiary designations in your will and/or trust to remove your ex-spouse. You can then name someone else to inherit the property when you die.

Also pay attention to who you named as the personal representative of your will. This person is tasked with collecting estate assets, paying off your debts, and then distributing property. The personal representative also has to defend the estate in the event of a lawsuit. If you named your ex to serve as your representative, you should definitely change the designation to someone else.

Handling Gifts to Minor Children

If you name minor children as beneficiaries, a judge will need to establish a guardianship until they reach adulthood (age 18). This guardian will have the legal power to manage the assets you left to your children. When you die, the other parent is a natural choice to serve in this role, so you need to act if you are worried about your ex getting control of your assets in this way.

Our clients do have other options. For example, you could name another person to serve as guardian, but this also carries risks. The person you name might mismanage funds and waste assets before your children reach adulthood. This means there will be less money available when they are adults.

Another option is to create a Family Protection Trust and name it as the beneficiary. With this option, you get to pick the trustee who will manage the trust assets, and you can pick someone responsible. Many people choose a parent or sibling, but you can also pick a financial or legal advisor. A trust provides additional legal protection, since your children can sue the trustee for mismanaging funds.

Updating Powers of Attorney

A comprehensive estate plan should also include powers of attorney for medical and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated.  Many people name their spouse as their agent who will make decisions. Now that you are divorced, you should revise these powers of attorney so that you can appoint someone else.

Revising an Estate Plan after Remarriage

With divorce comes the prospect that you might remarry later. This choice will also have serious implications for your estate plan, so don’t forget to update it again should you take another trip down the aisle.

For example, your new spouse has a right to take between one-third and one half of your probated estate, regardless of what you state in your will. This is called the “elective share,” and you need to plan for it. You might find that your new spouse receives assets that you had earmarked for your children—and which they were counting on.

You can work around an elective share with a prenuptial agreement or trust, but you should meet with an experienced attorney first.

Client Reviews

Had free consultation. Advice given was taken, and resulted in change of mind in the other/opposing party. We therefore did not need to retain. Should opposing party resume original opinion, we will retain.

Kit

I was in a terrible custody dispute with my ex. I was very upset and afraid of my ex. Rodd listened to everything I said and remembered everything I said. He was aggressive in court and used the information I gave him very well. We won the case and my ex has backed off.

anonymous

I wanted an easy divorce from my wife. She wanted a fight. Rodd and I discussed fair terms for a dissolution. Because he was pro active and stayed on top of the case, my wife and I finally reached an agreement and had a dissolution. I highly recommend Rodd.

anonymous

I hired Linda Lawrence because I have a business and I wanted to protect it in my divorce. Linda is top notch and knows about business finance and assets. I was able to keep my business and not have to pay my wife anything from it. Hire her.

Linda

I hired Linda Lawrence because I needed an aggressive attorney. Linda was able to stand up against the other attorney and was very aggressive in court. It was an expensive divorce case, but that was because the other attorney was very aggressive and Linda was very thorough. I had great results in my case and highly recommend Linda.

Joy
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Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Columbus after a High Asset Divorce

At Lawrence Law Office, our Ohio estate planning attorneys have shepherded many high net worth individuals through the divorce process, and we take a comprehensive approach that includes consideration of estate planning issues. Why not revise your estate plan as soon as you complete your high asset divorce?

Contact our Columbus estate planning attorneys today. We can meet with you for an initial consultation to talk about your impending divorce and cover how to approach changes to your estate plan. For more information about our services, please call us at 614-333-9961 or send us an online message.

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Our Practice Areas

Family Law

Attorneys for Divorce, Child Custody & More At the Lawrence Law Office, we are committed to helping families in conflict find creative solutions that focus on addressing their goals and...

Divorce

Columbus & Delaware, OH Divorce Lawyers In Ohio, there is more than one way to separate from your partner and dissolve your marriage. A divorce is typically a contested proceeding, with each side...

Contempt and
Enforcement and
Post divorce

When working through your divorce with an Ohio family law attorney, chances are your divorce agreement made allowances for child support. spousal support or

Business owner
divorce

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

Child Custody

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

High Asset
Divorce Cases

Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing...

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