Estate planning can be complex in Florida. Even those who have taken the necessary steps to have a comprehensive and well-crafted estate plan could find themselves facing issues they never expected. If this is connected to family law and a divorce, it is imperative to think about how to adjust the estate plan to address the inevitable issues that arise. A recent survey shows how critical this can be as the number of couples 50 and over getting divorce is negatively impacting their estate planning.
A survey from TD Wealth shows just how widespread divorce over 50 – often called a “gray” divorce – is and how it can hinder estate planning. The survey included 112 people and was conducted in January. People from a variety of positions took part. It included accountants, charity professionals, insurance experts, those involved in elder law and wealth management. Of the respondents, 20 percent said that divorce led to family disputes. Family disagreement was already a concern with estate planning. It also found that 39 percent thought retirement planning and having sufficient funding influenced estate planning for those in that age group getting a divorce.
Other estate planning considerations like having a power of attorney, allocating Social Security and creating a will also came to the forefront. Of lawyers and estate planning professionals, 43 percent said failure to communicate regarding an estate plan was a frequent problem and sparked dispute. Next, family member concerns came in at 29 percent. For 2020, 13 percent said beneficiary designation led to conflict. That was a significant reduction from the 2019 results when it was 30 percent.
Estate planning experts are also contending with new tax laws and strategies to help clients ensure as much of their assets are retained as possible when they are passed on to beneficiaries. Trusts are often used for this purpose. For people who are confronted with a divorce and are worried about how it will affect their estate plan, it is wise to have legal advice to prevent challenges in the future. Even those who are not divorcing and have other family-related issues like a remarriage, a blended family and more can benefit from legal advice. A law firm that understands estate planning and family law may be able to help.