Divorce agreement

In our estate planning practice, we counsel a number of blended families. They face unique issues relating to the couple’s desire to balance caring for their new spouses with protecting their children from previous relationships.

The attached Wall Street Journal article from earlier this year discusses a different aspect of the overlap between estate planning and family law. It’s a reminder for individuals to update their estate plans after a legal divorce. Although California law does offer some protection in this regard (an assumption that a plan leaving assets to a spouse

In California, an ATRO (automatic temporary restraining order) goes into place immediately after the filing of a divorce petition. This prevents the divorcing spouses from transferring assets into/out of a trust or changing the beneficiary designations on any other assets.

The bottom line: individuals who have recently divorced need to update their estate plan to reflect their updated wishes and family status.