August 01, 2016 Feature

Estate Planning after Divorce or Breakup

Kenneth A. Vercammen

If you do not write a will, the government has already written one for you. Your assets go to whomever the state law says receives the assets, or to the government itself! As average Americans, we work 80,000 hours in a lifetime, or 45 to 55 years. And yet, despite all our resources and the assets we earn, the vast majority of Americans do not take the time to create the legal instructions to guide the court or a guardian upon their death. National statistics indicate that more than 50 percent of Americans foolishly die without leaving a will. In the absence of a will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, problems often arise, and judges decide who gets custody of your children and handles your money. This process is called the law of intestacy. The result can be lengthy delays in the distribution of your estate, court battles between relatives, and your children being raised by someone you do not favor. Without a will, your family will have to pay substantial costs for accountants, attorneys, bonding companies, and probate fees.

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