Grey Divorce (Part 2)

Oct 19, 2021

Trust funds, clauses, and decapitation, oh my! In this second part, we visit the topic of grey divorce, diving deeper into estate planning. Including the topics of trust funds, what special clauses are in place, and decapitation! Actually, no, not decapitation. Although that is discussed too.


Tracy Hightower-Henne: So on today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about part two of gray divorce, and on this part, we’re going to talk about estate planning. But first, Hola. Gutten tag. Bonjour. We well, did we have any in France? We just found out that we have 12 listeners in Germany. So Gutten tag and Australia. Ello, is that Australian? There was a couple in I

Susan Reff: Think there’s a language Australian.

Tosha Heavican: No, just a heavy accent.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, Australians and English sometimes is a really hard. I mean, like the United Kingdom, England is difficult to tell the difference there. Yes, accents

Susan Reff: And Tosha is with us here again.

Tosha Heavican: I am Ola

Susan Reff: Tosha Guten Tag.

Tosha Heavican: Yes. Good morning.

Susan Reff: Bonjour. I have no idea.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s the one I know. So we were just recapping a little bit of our office’s trip to Vegas. And I just want to say that that RuPaul drag show was super fun.

Tosha Heavican: It was excellent. I had a great time. Go ahead.

Susan Reff: I don’t even have enough words, I don’t think to describe the RuPaul drag show. It was so fun. It was there was like it was such high energy. It was funny. It was good dancing, you know, like all, it was everything.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. And it was 15 of us and I was having a really good time checking out everyone’s facial expressions and our group because a couple of us watch the show religiously. A couple of us have never seen the show or even know what a drag queen is. And so bouncing from those people and watching their facial expressions was part of the show for me.

Susan Reff: Yeah, I admit I’m one of the people. I had never watched the show. I was familiar with the show, but I had never watched it. But I think RuPaul is just a really cool person, so I was appreciative of the show for sure.

Tosha Heavican: I had never watched the show, but I had been to some drag shows in in Omaha like I think it was called the Max. Maybe, yeah, and super fun.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So should you says the Max. Like, that’s our one and only gay club basically in Omaha.

Tosha Heavican: Well, I’m old now and I don’t really go out. So it was when I was in college that I went. So I was just trying to remember the name of the name of the bar.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But I went to Drag Queen Bingo at Flix Lounge, which is the lesbian bar and drag queen bingo because I love bingo by itself. But then you had drag queens is super great, you know, with the best one to get in drag queen bingo. What? Oh, sixty nine. Oh, that’s how it’s announced.

Susan Reff: There’s also the Drag Queen Story Hour, where the drag queens come in. I think they have it at, um, it’s down in the old market somewhere, but they have the drag queens, read books. It’s at a bookstore. Oh yes, the children. And then they have drag queen brunch. We are is another thing that’s happening.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Our children to drag queens. It’s so awful. Ok, there was sarcasm.

Susan Reff: There’s always and I’ll read and apparently there’s always protesters. Yes, so stupid. Heaven forbid our children get literacy from someone other than, you know, their mom or their dad or the

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Teacher or literacy in general.

Susan Reff: Yeah, bad.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Speaking of yes, so what was your favorite part about Vegas, Tosha?

Tosha Heavican: I had a blast on the. So in order to get to the drag show, we had a party bus and we did a lot of singing and dancing, and it was just a great time.

Susan Reff: I feel like you had a good time, Tosha.

Tosha Heavican: I did. I did. I know how to bring a party for sure.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We the party bus is where I found out that you can buy prepackaged Jell-O shots like I’ve only known to make them myself, but pre-packaged where you pull the lid off. And there it is.

Tosha Heavican: I think Costco, you can buy them by the bulk now.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, I’m sure I’ve had my eyes opened, but

Susan Reff: The Tosha didn’t tell everyone but the party bus. It has like a pole in the middle.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: It’s called a stripper pole.

Susan Reff: I thought it was in case you were falling down, you could grab the pole like when you’re on the subway.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: No one was stripping. Yes.

Susan Reff: No. Everyone left their clothes on. But that was really fun too, that we got to dance and kind of have our own little dance floor.

Tosha Heavican: I feel like it was like a what’s the word I’m looking for, like a super pole, too, because it was like a tube within a tube. So when you would grab onto it, it would spin you automatically. It was like you didn’t even have to work for in assistance.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, yes. But also we had the bus for two hours and but we didn’t get on it until forty five minutes late because our dinner ran over. And so by the time our bus driver dropped us off at the Flamingo, where the RuPaul drag show show was, it was like eight fifty seven and we were parked and I was like, No, no, no, we have this for three more minutes. And he was like, Get off.

Susan Reff: He was ready to be done with us.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That was Bruce. He was. He was done with us.

Susan Reff: Bruce, the bus driver. Yeah.

Tosha Heavican: I was thinking about us, though I think we sang Wilson Phillips hold on twice in that hour and 15 minutes, and I decided that we should do one of those montage videos in our office where we like, sing into the camera and we, like, do a choreographed dance. I think that’ll be fun.

Susan Reff: I I can’t dance

Tosha Heavican: Man,

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Either. I’m having like, well,

Tosha Heavican: I’ll do some well. I’ll do some of Tracy’s jello shots and then we’ll all be excellent dancers.

Susan Reff: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: With all the things you can picture on the podcast when we’re not doing a video podcast, right?

Susan Reff: I think that that was the most popular song of all the songs that we lip sync karaoke screamed, shouted, Whatever you want to call what we were doing? Yes.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Susan, what was your favorite part in Vegas?

Susan Reff: My favorite part, I guess it wasn’t like a thing. It was like the opportunity to hang out with people in a different way. You know, we don’t we don’t always get to socialize as a whole group. You know, sometimes there’s people that go to lunch or whatever together. But, you know, just having everyone together in doing, you know, fun things that weren’t work related was really great to have those experiences like going to the pool and eating lunch and going to the bar and all that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I know you really liked the waterfall and the lazy river.

Susan Reff: The the waterfall could have been really cool, but you know, it was one of those experiences. Like the first time I went under the waterfall, all of my sunscreen went directly in my eyes. Oh no, and I wear contacts. So I think it was like sucked onto my contacts. And then the whole way around the lazy river, the next loop, I was like, My eyes are burning and I’m trying to wipe, you know, wiping your eyes in the pool doesn’t

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do any good. Then you get back to the waterfall again and you’re like, Well, here we go again.

Susan Reff: Yeah, the waterfall

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Poundage of the water hitting you was pretty hard.

Susan Reff: It was. It was. It was a trauma inducing experience.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: It was a little excessive.

Susan Reff: Yeah, for a lazy river. It was definitely a

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Lazy, not very lazy. All right. So to the topic today, estate planning as it relates to gray divorce. Super important. And Tosha is our resident expert in estate planning. So this topic is really narrowed to those folks that have been married for a long term and all of the unique things that can happen for estate planning.

Susan Reff: So thinking people who are fifty fifty five, sixty plus years old who are getting divorced and then what is their estate plan going to look like once they’re divorced?

Tosha Heavican: Sure. So I think one of the initial questions that we’re going to ask as we are going through the divorce process, either where you’re. Finalizing the divorce, or maybe you’ve already been divorce. The question is going to be, what do you currently have in place for an estate plan? When we talk about an estate plan, that’s going to be things like a will, a power of attorney, a trust. Those types of documents, because once we know what you currently have, then we can look at all of these documents that need to be modified. Can we still utilize some of them or do they need to be revoked and reinstituted? So that’s kind of the first question that we’re going to talk about.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And if you don’t yet have an estate plan despite being almost 60 plus, then now is the time to get one. And we won’t judge you exactly what or why you don’t have one.

Susan Reff: And NaTosha, correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s never too late to have an estate plan, right? There’s never a point of no return

Tosha Heavican: Until you are deceased. Correct? Correct.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That is the point of no return.

Susan Reff: I got that one right.

Tosha Heavican: Correct. Correct. Most of the time, you know, the things that we’re going to be doing and signing are things that we need to have in place before tragedy happens, either a situation where the person can no longer make decisions for themselves. We typically call that incapacitated or obviously if someone is deceased or capacitated.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Also, that works. That’s a word or deed.

Susan Reff: Capacitated gets decapitated, which means deceased. Correct?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: All of the above.

Susan Reff: Any story really quick? My child asked me how long you live after your heads cut off?

Tosha Heavican: What was your answer to the context?

Susan Reff: You know, as kids get older, they start learning more about their body and they start having these really interesting thoughts like, you know, and then they know like people can live without their arm or their leg or along.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And so maybe your head, but how long?

Tosha Heavican: There’s probably a fair amount of people we could say are currently walking around without their heads. Yeah.

Susan Reff: And I think he has these thoughts in his head and then he says them out loud and it’s like, Oh yeah, well, there are, there is chickens.

Tosha Heavican: You can cut chickens heads off and they run around. Let’s do a

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Science experiment, Jonathan. Yeah. You know the saying running around like a chicken with your head cut off? Let’s see what happens. Start the timer, chop. I don’t think that’s pretty good at my house. So what was your answer?

Susan Reff: I said, I don’t think you can live at all without your head because your brain and your spinal cord would be gone. And I think immediately he got it. He was like, Oh yeah. So it did. It wasn’t really a conversation after that.

Tosha Heavican: I suppose. In the world of parenting, if we could get all easy questions like that, yeah, that would be great.

Susan Reff: That would be great. Ok, sorry, I interrupted. Back on track,

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That was a good interruption

Susan Reff: De capacitated, right? So we don’t want anyone to be capacitated when they’re writing their will correct.

Tosha Heavican: So the time to be making decisions about these, these things, whether it’s a power of attorney or a will, is when we’re not faced with tragedy, we’re not dealing with kind of these, you know, sad situations where we can have a clear head and we can talk about what’s most important and and what we need to do to make sure that your plan is in place moving forward.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: A clear head that’s attached to your body. Correct?

Susan Reff: Yeah. So would you advise someone who is going through divorce that’s a little older gray to maybe start talking about that estate plan before their divorce is final?

Tosha Heavican: I would say that it should be a topic of conversation as as part of the divorce. As an example, I’ve been involved in several cases within this office where a couple who have been married for what I would consider a significant amount of time and have now made the decision to separate a lot of times they have estate plans in place that include things like trusts or beneficiary designations, powers of attorney. And so part of that process in the divorce is looking at, OK, what assets are in this trust? Because typically between married persons, we’re talking about a joint trust. So if there are assets that are in this trust, then we have to look at getting the assets out of the trust. When I say assets, I mean things like a house or a bank account or a brokerage account, all kinds of different assets that could be in the trust. And so part of that divorce process, then, is we make sure that we’re dealing or transferring those assets out of the trust and then we actually will sign a revocation or termination of that trust document. So there isn’t a question later on. Of whether or not we’re having to fund this trust or does it exist, that type of thing

Susan Reff: And does that have to take place during the divorce or is that after the divorce where that those assets would be moved from that trust?

Tosha Heavican: I think technically it could be done in either case. But from what I’ve experienced and I’m sure the two of you could attest to as well in situations where you have divorcing parties, a lot of times it’s better to get everything kind of wrapped up and squared away at the time that we’re doing it because once the people are separated, the divorce is final. They’re probably in some respects ready to kind of be done with each other. And so if we can get a lot of that paperwork done while everybody at the table, it’s going to make things a lot more easier.

Susan Reff: Further down the road, they can move on.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I’m just looking at Josh’s microphone and I’m waist falling.

Susan Reff: She got the one that doesn’t like to stay pointed up.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So I was just waiting for it to fall.

Tosha Heavican: Good thing. I’m short. I’ll just keep moving my chair down.

Susan Reff: Just keep scrunching down.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: He likes to just go like limp,

Susan Reff: And she’s sitting on the floor by the end of the podcast.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: She’s upside down, doing a handstand

Susan Reff: As long as you’re talking into the microphone, it’ll be fine. Yeah.

Tosha Heavican: I wonder how long I could do a handstand. I don’t even know if I can hold it for five seconds.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, I can’t.

Tosha Heavican: Olympic Challenge accepted well, and actually speaking of, you know, wrapping things up, I had an interesting case recently where we had spouses who were divorced through the District Court. And part of the order was that they were going to sell their house that was owned, owned and joint tenancy. Well, fast forward 30 years, they were still living together and never sold the house.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: They got divorced in nineteen ninety one.

Tosha Heavican: Correct. And fast forward to now. And one of the spouses passed away. And so then the question is there no

Susan Reff: Longer spouses, correct? That’s correct. Spouses.

Tosha Heavican: So the divorce decree is final. They are no longer husband and wife, but they are still cohabitating. And despite the fact that the divorce decree says, Hey, we’re going to sell this house and then we’re going to split the money. Nothing happened for thirty years until somebody died. So now we are dealing with more people involved because then you have the estate on the side of the person who died, who then that brings in children or other heirs. And then the question is, OK, we’re going to sell the house. What what value do we use and do we have to consider other contributions that were made to the house? And it ended up being somewhat of a litigious situation. You know, where you had to go to court and we had to talk to a judge and all of those types of things.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So she loves going to court.

Tosha Heavican: Yes, it’s my favorite.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I’m full of sarcasm today.

Tosha Heavican: So you know the idea being that the more things we can button up clean up at the time that the divorce is happening, I think the better off people are going to be, you know, there is actually a statute in Nebraska that’s somewhat on point that talks about in a situation where you have a divorce. If nothing is changed post divorce, this statute will will allow an estate to skip over a former spouse. So as an example, because that kind of sounds confusing. As an example, if I have in my life insurance policy that my husband is my beneficiary and then we get divorced and I don’t change that beneficiary designation. The statute in Nebraska will cancel that beneficiary designation, so my former spouse will not get the money, so it would then go to a contingent beneficiary if I have one. If I don’t have a contingent person listed to receive the money, then it would pay to my estate. And so Nebraska and Iowa both have that statute. What’s interesting is that was they put like a clause on it, so it only applies to divorces after a certain date. Nebraska statute is fairly new and but it doesn’t have one of those clauses. So the courts have been applying it to divorces, you know, for many years prior to now.

Susan Reff: Is it called like the forgetful person statute? We’re going to protect the person who forgot to change their beneficiary

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or lawyer never told them about it as a post Tikri task?

Susan Reff: Yeah. Or they never even told their lawyer they had a life insurance policy because that that that never happens.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I think it’s important, though, to note that in some divorces, we oftentimes will require one parent to keep a life insurance policy in place and name their ex spouse for purposes of covering potential child support or alimony after they die. So in that situation, that would be OK, right? The decree would specify that this person needs to remain a beneficiary as an ex-spouse, and so it wouldn’t forget them, right?

Tosha Heavican: Correct, and I would, you know, I’m kind of a belt and suspenders kind of person to wear if I’m the one of the attorneys in that case, I’m telling the people once the decree is issued, you should resign a beneficiary designation form so that the date on the beneficiary form is after the decree because then the statute wouldn’t apply.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So really, we’re tying the opposing party to sign a new beneficiary form who probably doesn’t really want to maintain their ex-spouse as a beneficiary if

Tosha Heavican: We represent the recipient. Correct. Right. If we represent the person who’s paying, then we would say, you know, you probably should do this. I mean, the the result, if you don’t, is that there’s potentially more court time and nobody wants that typically,

Susan Reff: Right, especially after someone’s passed away.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Correct. Well, the dead person doesn’t care.

Susan Reff: That’s true. The de capacitated person. Yes. Or well, we don’t know. Maybe they do care.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Sure. Right. Yeah, people do care. That’s why they do a will, for sure. They don’t want.

Susan Reff: No, I mean, they care after they’re dead.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, well, for how long, Jonathan?

Susan Reff: So 13 seconds.

Tosha Heavican: The other thing to kind of think about, too, especially within the context of our topic today, where we’re talking about gray divorces, a lot of times what I will see in situations where we have persons who are married for a long time and then separate, it puts a lot more onus, I guess, on adult children. Right. So under the probate code, if somebody passes away or becomes incapacitated, then typically the first person who has the right to step up and take care of things is going to be a spouse. But if you are now, you know, so you’ve been married for 20, 30 plus years, your plan has always been to be together and and do things together, and you’ve built this life together. And now that plan has changed. And part of the result of that is that your adult children, if you mean you have adult children, are going to be stepping into that role because if you don’t have a spouse, then the next person with priority to make decisions for you if you’re incapacitated or to handle your estate. If you don’t have a will naming somebody else, are your adult children? So then the question is, if you have more than one child, is there one that you would prefer to be making those choices? There usually is that sort of thing.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So and listeners know that my parents got divorced after almost 40 years of marriage, so I can speak from personal experience that you know there they are no longer each other’s power of attorneys and personal representatives. So my brother and I will get to do all of those things, and I think that’s really scary as an adult child. To that, at some point we may have to make those decisions, but it’s good that after their divorce happened, they had all of those things put into place where I think oftentimes people again who get divorced after a long term marriage may decide I need to take a break from all this planning, and then they sometimes forget to go back to their estate planning, and that’s really important.

Tosha Heavican: And I think to, you know, to your point, Tracy, something made me think of, you know, as an example for your parents when you’re when you’re married and you’ve been married for so long, typically, spouses are going to know what each other has in terms of, you know, bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance,

Susan Reff: Skeletons in the closet, all

Tosha Heavican: Of those types of things. Then when you get in a situation where you have your parent and they pass away, and now as an adult child, you have to figure out what assets mom or dad had. And a lot of times clients will come to me and they’ll say, I have no idea what my dad had. I have no idea what assets my mother had.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And I think not to mention, you know, probably during a long term marriage, you have had conversations about what you want to happen to your body after you die and things like that that maybe you don’t have or hadn’t had a chance to have those conversations with your parents and you’re now in the situation of having to plan a funeral. So is it true that all of those things can go into a will or where where would someone put their plans for their funeral?

Tosha Heavican: Yes. So I typically do include information in a will about specific burial or cremation organ donation if they have a plot that they have purchased or I’ve had clients want me to put in their will that they want to be buried. There’s this new thing now you can do. Maybe it’s not new, new to me where you can send in your ashes and they make it into a seed that grows a tree so you can become a tree in your next life.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s what I

Tosha Heavican: Want, right? So there’s all different kinds of things that that are available for people now that, you know, if they have specific wishes, you know, religious wishes, if they have those or, you know, anything like that where we can put it in a will the other plan too or thought that is helpful for people you can contact a. Funeral home and do a pre-paid funeral plan.

Susan Reff: So I’d like to do that.

Tosha Heavican: Well, funeral homes don’t like to do it because why?

Susan Reff: I had a case because they like to raise their prices.

Tosha Heavican: Yes, I had a case one time where where a lady had done a pre-paid burial plan seriously, like 30 years before she died. And so they find this contract and her daughter brings it into me, and she’s like, Well, is this enforceable? They’re telling me that they don’t have to follow this, and I said it absolutely is enforceable. So they got a funeral that probably would have cost like eight grand for like two thousand five hundred bucks. Yeah, they don’t like to do those. But I mean, maybe some stuff you could leave open in terms of like, you know, the lunch and whatever. But in terms of your basic plans of like, do I want to be buried or cremated and where I want to be buried and those types of things, you can have some of that preplanning.

Susan Reff: Tracy wants to be buried at sea.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, I do want I would like to become a tree and specifically an Aspen. Do you know what the largest organism is in the world? I just gave it away. Yeah, it’s an Aspen tree, and it’s because they’ve become other trees. And the largest organism of aspen trees is in Utah somewhere,

Susan Reff: And it’s like it’s dying thousands of acres. I heard it’s dying because because we

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Just totally ruined

Susan Reff: My well, everyone go out and donate money to save the aspens and quit littering. How’s that? Ok. And recycle.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or like when you die, become an aspen tree. Because then,

Susan Reff: Well, aspens are cool, too, because you never just see one because they are all connected. So if one end of it, you know, they say, depending on which part of the organism gets of the living grove or whatever they call it, gets injured. It can survive, but it can’t. A certain percentage of it has to stay alive. So if you want a lot of trees, plant one Aspen and you’ll get more.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. So I’ll become a tree and then out to sea would be nice to you.

Tosha Heavican: Half and half. Sure, half a tree.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s a cool idea. Yeah, have these.

Susan Reff: And I said, I said C because you like to scuba dive?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. Yes. When we when we lost Maya and we put some of her ashes into a river, it was really kind of nice to like, watch them float down the river and you know, you could see them for a long time. So you all could do that. I mean, it won’t be for a while, but.

Tosha Heavican: Well, that’s that’s what I always tell clients. You know, our plan is to live forever, but when that doesn’t work out, you know, we’ve got to have kind of a Plan

Susan Reff: B. So I think I wonder, I wonder about this a lot. You know, people who who get to be elderly and you know, one of my friends told me the other day that her mom kept a list of all her friends and family that died each year, like in her journal. And I wonder if you do get to a point where you’re like, I don’t want to live forever. I think I think, yeah, you do. You get to that point because you, your body starts shutting down and this gal said, and none of your friends are alive anymore. So, yeah, yeah, it’s not as much fun. Like, there’s no Wilson Phillips happening when

Tracy Hightower-Henne: You’re well, there can

Tosha Heavican: Be in the

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Nursing home to play it. So, OK, talk about Social Security and how it relates to estate planning and gray divorce, because I think that can be a really important piece of estate planning.

Tosha Heavican: So in terms of Social Security benefits, if if you are eligible for Social Security benefits and you are divorced, then at the time that you’re eligible, Social Security makes a determination of which amount is higher between you and your ex-spouse. And so even if you are not married, you can still be entitled to the higher benefit, depending on which spouse had a higher earning record. So those funds are still available even if you are divorced. You know, in terms of kind of future planning and looking at being on a fixed income, what amounts are you going to be receiving? And Social Security is pretty good about, you know, if you’re willing to wait in line on the phone to ask questions about that and kind of understanding what? You know what amount you would be receiving that sort of thing?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And on our first part of great divorce, we talked a little bit about a case that Susan had in a Long-Term Marriage. They had owned several rental properties and had that as a business, and they wanted to continue doing that together. So I would consider that part of an estate plan, you know, for them after the divorce, is that important to look at any losses that you’ve created or what’s happening at the Secretary of state to?

Tosha Heavican: Absolutely. Because once you are divorced under the Probate Code, which is what governs when somebody passes away, your your rights change. If you go from being a spouse to being not a spouse, you know, under the statute, that basically means you’re just a friend. You go from being a tier zero beneficiary where you’re a spouse, you get certain rights and you pay no tax to a Tier three beneficiary where you’re paying 18 percent tax on anything you would receive.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: It doesn’t matter if you’re friends with benefits, either. Correct.

Tosha Heavican: Correct.

Susan Reff: That’s not an IRS tax bracket designation.

Tosha Heavican: It should

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Be.

Susan Reff: Mhm. I wonder what the proof would have to be.

Tosha Heavican: Yeah, hopefully nothing demonstrative. Only an affidavit. So you, you know, your rights change under the statute when you become a non spouse. And so then looking at what are the transfers look like if one of you passes away, you’re no longer married. What happens to those assets? What is the plan? And you’re going to have to collaborate somewhat between the two ex-spouses to figure out what makes the most sense tax wise? What makes the most sense for purposes of what your wishes are? You know that type of thing. It would be a very important topic to talk about with an estate planning attorney if that was the plan to continue to maintain some joint or, you know, co-mingled assets post-divorce.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right. So all of those things are really important to think about when you are facing divorce, considering divorce, and it’s OK to speak with an estate planning attorney, maybe even before you speak to a divorce attorney. I think the the one thing that we reiterate all the time is speaking to an attorney creates a confidential relationship and so you can start planning those conversations before you even talk to your spouse about divorce. Yeah. Or about anything. Dinner, you can talk to a lawyer. So the takeaway is, you know, start thinking about estate planning early, whether that’s before you file for a divorce in the middle of divorce. As a gray divorcee, that estate planning is really, really important because you’re going from having had a plan to retire together to now your new independent goals, which can include so many different wild ideas that you want to do, and that will typically cause your estate plan to just be sort of upended.

Susan Reff: And if you didn’t have an estate plan, it’s OK,

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’re not going to judge you.

Susan Reff: You can start after your divorce,

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But we’re still going to wonder why you don’t have one. So estate planning as gray divorce? Talk to a lawyer. That’s our takeaway. Super easy. Thanks for listening on the next podcast. We’ll talk about prenuptial agreements as they relate to gray divorce. Yay. I can’t wait. Adios. See you. Then what’s goodbye in German? Uh, would you say Guten Tag again?

Susan Reff: No, I don’t know. You could say Chow, but that’s not German. Was that Italian? Okay, Chao.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the lady lawyer League Podcast. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts, if you would like to learn more about our firm, Hightower-Reff Law, please visit us at HR Law We’ll see you next week.

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