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Estate planning issues during a divorce

People in Missouri should know that when they decide to divorce, there is a range of legal and financial implications that can come with the end of a marriage. In addition, it can be important for individuals seeking a divorce to update their estate planning documents as soon as possible. While some changes cannot be made until a divorce is finalized, others can be made even while the divorce is pending. Making these changes as soon as possible can be important for protecting a person and his or her beneficiaries and heirs and preventing unwanted outcomes, especially if there is a risk that someone could become incapacitated or even pass away while the divorce is pending.

Under the law, certain types of documents cannot be changed until the divorce is finalized. At the same time, these are some of the most critical documents to change immediately once it is possible. These important provisions include the beneficiary designations on pensions, life insurance, retirement funds and other key financial accounts.

However, even while these accounts are frozen during a divorce, there are a number of estate planning changes that can be made right away. For example, powers of attorney and health care proxies can be changed at any time. In most cases, people will want someone other than their former partners to make decisions about their medical care and finances in case they are incapacitated.

It can also be important to update trusts, wills and other estate planning documents during a divorce. While it may not be possible to fully disinherit a spouse until after the divorce is final, there are a number of changes that can be made in order to protect assets even during the period of pendency. A family law attorney can help people in this unique situation to make necessary decisions and develop documents that reflect their goals.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806 Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 5 Club Centre Ct., Suite A, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025: Edwardsville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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