Children often suffer the secondary consequences of a parental divorce. They may have to accept a reduction in their standard of living and learn to deal with the intense stress of alternating between parental homes.
As a loving parent, you want to make divorce as easy for your kids as possible. You also want to help set them up for a bright future despite the current difficulties your family has to undergo.
Estate planning during a marriage has completely different goals than estate planning afterward, especially if you share children with your ex and want to protect their inheritance. Just removing your ex from the last will won’t be enough.
Unless you take special steps, your ex could control the inheritance
If you die while your children are still minors, they only inherit your assets in a technical sense. They typically will not have access to or control over those assets until they reach adulthood. The parent or guardian who cares for them after your death will be the one who has ultimate control over their inheritance until they become adults.
That might mean that your ex spends everything and then tells the kids that you didn’t leave anything for them. Putting assets aside in a trust can make sure that there are resources still available to your children when they become adults. Additionally, you can name a trustee other than your spouse to manage the app that you leave for the children. That trustee can be of crucial secondary advocate for your children when you are no longer there to fight for them.
Those considering a high-asset divorce need to think about all the financial repercussions of ending your marriage, including the impact on their legacy.