Plenty of mature residents from Stuart to Boca Raton enjoy life in a beautiful area of the country, have good friends, lovely homes and satisfying work. Growing a family takes years and plenty of energy but conscientious couples also find time to think about and prepare for retirement and end of life issues. Once children are on their own, couples tend to use their financial resources in new ways. Maybe it’s time for travel, to get that special car, or to downsize a home, who knows?
Sometimes, older couples decide to divorce and one or both spouses may feel confused regarding how to plan for their future. This is not a time to go it alone. The issues surrounding estate planning and divorce are quite technical, so hiring a qualified attorney is critical.
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Once a decision about an attorney is made, plan to tackle two major issues with late life divorce:
Will: Discussing one’s will, can be intimidating but is critical when a divorce is occurring. An attorney can assure that the document combines what the law requires and what a client desires. “Many states have an ‘elective share statute’ which provides that your spouse (whether estranged or not) will automatically be entitled to a certain percentage of your estate.” (for source click here) Florida is among these states. A thorough review of your will provides an opportunity to make important changes.
Retirement Benefits: An attorney can help a divorcing spouse find the best manner for dividing various retirement moneys. Two possible options are: The employed spouse buys out the other or gives a portion of the benefits when he or she retires or is eligible to retire. (for source click here) Other issues to discuss can include, but are not limited to, how to deal with defined benefit plans. Remember, timing can be everything. Doing research on the plan will be critical to finding the best financial path.
There will be many more issues to discuss with an attorney if one is divorcing later in life, but having clarity with these two issues will provide a foundation for a more predictable future.