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Omaha Law Blog

Your divorce and estate planning

Were you one of the many people who rushed to divorce in 2018 before the new tax laws affecting spousal support were put in place? If so, you may have neglected a few important tasks. Specifically, it's time to revisit your estate plans.

Here are the top things that experts suggest you need to keep in mind when doing your post-divorce estate planning:

Parenthood brings the need for a will

As a young family with a new baby or young children, you have plenty of things to worry about. Typically, an estate plan and will isn't one of them. However, it might be one of the more important things you do for your children. It's a hard subject to talk about, but who will care for your children if you and your spouse were to die?

Often, new parents either don't think about establishing a will or put it off for another time. A will is often associated with an end-of-life plan for older people, so young people think it irrelevant to them. Having an estate plan that designates a guardian for your child in the event of your death and plans for your assets is an important part of caring for your family.

How people commonly sabotage their own custody cases

When you're involved in a custody battle, you really have to think about every action that you take -- because every aspect of your life can end up being examined in court. You absolutely have to be above reproach, and that means giving the other part -- and the judge in your case -- no cause to question your ability to be an effective parent.

Here are some of the most common ways that experts say that they see parents damage their own custody cases:

Why do so many famous and wealthy people go broke?

It's hard to believe that one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood for decades -- Johnny Depp -- is broke, but revelations from several lawsuits make it appear that's exactly what has happened.

Depp is hardly alone among famous people who have amassed large fortunes only to see their money one day vanish. People from all walks of life - from former presidents (like Ulysses S. Grant) to famous writers (like Mark Twain) have made -- and lost -- fortunes during their lifetimes.

Could debt destroy your marriage?

Money can't buy happiness -- but it certainly does resolve a lot of problems and can make it easier to enjoy life with your spouse.

According to a recent study out of Utah State University, arguments over money often lead to divorce -- especially when the arguments focus on household debts.

Why you probably don't have a will (yet)

If you haven't gotten around to writing your will and creating a few other essential estate planning documents, you aren't alone. It's estimated that 60 percent of Americans currently don't have a will. In fact, the younger you are, the less likely it is that you have one.

Let's face it: Everyone needs a will. You should also have a power of attorney for health care in place, just in case you're unable to direct your medical care for some reason.

When should you start estate planning?

No one wants to think about a future where they are not around to take care of their families. However, figuring out an estate plan sooner rather than later is important if you want to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of a tragedy.

When should you start estate planning? It is smart to start as soon as possible. Even young families need an estate plan in place in order to make sure their family's future is secure. Why do you need an estate plan right now?

Grandparents who raise their grandchildren in Nebraska

More than 10,000 Nebraska grandparents are raising their grandchildren -- and many of them lack the necessary support they dearly need to make the job easier.

The drug crisis that has affected much of America is largely responsible for what some officials have called "a quiet wave" of second-round parents that have stepped in for absent mothers and fathers. The Nebraska Children's Home Society offers classes designed to help grandparents cope with parenting in today's world.

Stan Lee's estate invites controversy, lessons for others

Stan Lee, who was a real-life superhero to many comic book fans, passed away this year at 95 years of age after a prolonged illness. Unfortunately, his last few years were troubled as claims of financial malfeasance, familial abuse and missing money surfaced. Even after his death, it's still unclear what estate plans he had made.

If there are no estate plans, Lee won't be the first major celebrity to forgo them. Music legends Aretha Franklin and Prince, for example, also died without leaving wills -- or even clear heirs -- to control their fortunes and their legacies. You don't have to have a fortune, however, to take some lessons for the future from their situations regarding your own estate plans.

Nebraska cities celebrate National Adoption Day

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month?

Several cities in Nebraska recently celebrated National Adoption Day as part of the monthlong effort to bring attention to the fact that there is a real need for adoptive parents in the United States.