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Protecting the inheritance rights of your children

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2019 | Firm News |

It is easy during a divorce to tightly focus on the matters that only immediately concern you, although some long range issues like child support or what assets you will keep following the divorce are likely to be of immediate importance. Still, it is possible to overlook how your Connecticut divorce will affect the inheritance rights of your children. If you are not careful, your inheritance wishes for your offspring may be derailed because of your divorce. 

According to CNBC, if you die without a will, it will be up to the state to divide up your estate. It is not a given that your children will end up with everything that you want them to receive. Depending on the dynamics of your family, your ex-spouse may have a claim to some of your assets. If you remarry, your new spouse may stand to inherit from you as well. All of these competing interests could take a long time to sort out and there is no telling what your children will end up with. 

Even if you have made a will, Forbes explains that problems can still arise if you have not revised it after your divorce. You may have made your ex-spouse the executor of your estate. You might also have designated your former spouse to govern a trust, and your will may also allow your ex to inherit from you. It is important to change your will so that your ex-spouse does not retain control over your assets or inherit anything you do not want your ex to have. 

In addition to spelling out your inheritance wishes for your children and keeping your ex from having control over your estate, you may consider other ways for your children to inherit from you. If your children are minors, you could create a trust for them. In the event you pass away before they become of legal age, the trust will hold assets for your children until they are ready to receive them. You can also directly name your children as beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts. 

Keep in mind that changing beneficiary designations should comply with the requirements of state and federal law. Asking for the help of professional counsel may help to make these transitions without running into unexpected problems that could derail your estate plans.