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How divorce can complicate estate planning

Divorce is a common part of modern life, as it can happen to anyone. It can affect multiple parts of a person's current life as well as his or her future. Though many people assume that younger married couples account for most divorces, studies show that may not be the case, as rates of divorce among older adults are rising in a phenomena commonly called "gray divorce." Gray divorce can be particularly complex as both parties attempt to determine how they will handle estate planning going forward. A recent survey among divorce and financial professionals may be of interest to Texas residents concerned about the effects of gray divorce on an estate plan.

The survey interviewed professionals, such as accountants and attorneys, who work with people regarding matters of divorce and finances. The responses showed that gray divorce, defined as couples over the age of 50, seems to correlate with increased family conflict. Many respondents also said that it made handling estate plans more difficult.

Respondents said that gray divorce affects choices surrounding estate planning matters such as powers of attorney and creating a will. The issue may be that people who divorce when they are older are more likely to have children, or they may even be dealing with a family that's already blended due to another divorce. Having a complex family structure can make determining how to change an estate plan a tough decision. 

Even with the potential for complications, divorce is a very normal part of life. Those who aren't sure how to handle estate planning post-divorce here in Texas may want to consult an attorney for advice. It may be the best way to ensure that a person's wishes are honored at the close of life.

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