Can You Alter Your California Estate Plan After a Divorce
Aug 19 2020 0

Can You Alter Your California Estate Plan After a Divorce?

It is a whole new take on life when you get a divorce. There are many things that will need to be changed and adjusted as you settle into your single life. After a California divorce, estate planning is just one of the considerations that you want to address.  A living trust could be something that is going to be worthwhile revoking. 

Estate planning and your financial well-being are incredibly important, and these situations must be taken care of correctly for the circumstances you are in. When you are revising your estate plan, working with an established and knowledgeable California estate planning attorney will be an invaluable asset. The boutique Leiva Law Firm can provide you with the highest level of professional legal services to help you make necessary changes to your financial plans.

Why Revoke a Trust and Create a New One After a Divorce?

There are many revocable trusts that are made when one is estate planning. The benefit of a California revocable trust is that you have the ability to change it at any time or even dissolve it if you want and not have to go through probate. Irrevocable trusts can also be used and are sometimes preferred due to their tax benefits. For instance, an irrevocable trust can protect assets from creditors and it can offer tax deductions. When you get a divorce, if you have created an irrevocable trust with your ex-partner, trying to change the terms of the trust can be challenging but potentially necessary.

When both you and your ex-spouse created an irrevocable trust together, but one partner is named the trustee, after divorce, the management of the trust may be subject. The partner whose name is not on the trust may have a change of heart and want to be named trustee instead. For example, if one partner believes that their ex-spouse is guilty of a “breach of fiduciary duty” they would likely want to have modifications made. Of course, it is highly likely that a petition from an ex-spouse to deny the allegations could ensue.

If the probate court appoints a neutral third party to do an investigation and that investigation comes back indicating there was no breach of duty it is very difficult to have the changes made. However, if there exists additional evidence that a spouse wants the court to see, they can request a hearing. Depending on the circumstances, the court will either deny the request or allow it.

In some cases, a court will not hear a spouse’s pleas for presenting more information to support their claims. In other cases, a Calfornia court of appeal may allow it because married partners who initially created the trust when they were a couple can both be considered equal creators of the legal arrangement. Due to this, a partner not named on the trust as the trustee is entitled to pursue the removal of the current trustee.

Find a California Estate Planning Lawyer Who Can Help You Revise Your Estate Plan

Can You Alter Your California Estate Plan After a DivorceNot every case requires a couple who are divorcing to wait until their divorce is complete before they alter their estate plan. If you need help with your California estate plan, call the Los Angeles estate planning attorney Marlene Leiva for all of your estate planning needs. The Leiva Law firm can be reached at 818-519-4465 to schedule your free consultation.


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