Estate Planning and Divorce in Massachusetts

Estate Considerations When Ending a Marriage

The typical estate plan centers on the other spouse. The husband or wife likely has powers of attorney in the event of disability, and that spouse is probably the primary beneficiary in the event of death. The house, investments and debts are all intertwined.

Divorce voids your will and estate planning documents, including any jointly funded trusts. It will be necessary to start over and address who inherits and who governs your affairs, if you cannot. Divorce also has ramifications for your retirement nest egg, long-term care plans, estate taxes and, perhaps, bankruptcy.

The Boston estate planning lawyers of Cushing & Dolan, P.C., can provide tools to simplify matters in the event of divorce, or we can help clients with comprehensive post-divorce estate planning services. We invite you to arrange a free consultation.

Estate Planning and Divorce in Massachusetts

On the front end of marriage, it may be prudent to approach estate planning as if you are single. We can discuss strategies, such as separate revocable trusts or a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement, to isolate assets that each of you brought to the marriage.

If you are preparing for divorce or recently divorced, we will sit down with you to address all the relevant issues and revise your estate plans accordingly:

  • Retitling assets and creating new trusts
  • Changing beneficiaries of trusts, life insurance policies, etc.
  • Redrafting your will, powers of attorney and health care proxies
  • Nursing home planning and Medicaid eligibility
  • Estate tax planning — On one hand, you will lose the benefit of "marital trust" spousal exemptions. On the other hand, your reduced holdings may no longer be subject to state or federal estate taxes.

Working with your divorce lawyer and accountant, we can advise on the income tax and estate tax implications of property transactions, withdrawals, liquidations and the other aftermath of divorce.

Boston Family Law Attorneys

For knowledgeable counsel on family law considerations in estate and tax planning, call Cushing & Dolan at 617-523-1555 or contact us online. We have eight convenient office locations in Greater Boston and surrounding counties of Massachusetts.