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Commedia e’ Finita -How a Pending Divorce Affects Your Estate Planning

Sad Woman

Robin Williams’ tragic suicide on August 11, 2014 shocked the country. Unlike a long illness, a sudden death often finds the survivors unprepared. This can be particularly true if the deceased leaves behind a former spouse, a surviving spouse, and children of two or more marriages or relationships.

One of the most important things a Louisiana resident can do in planning for divorce is to discuss with his lawyer what would happen to his death benefits if he dies before his divorce and property settlement are finalized. Married couples often have life insurance on each other’s lives or on the life of the breadwinner. Most have designated each other as primary beneficiary and named children as alternate beneficiaries. Your divorce attorney can tell you how a pending divorce affects your estate planning under Louisiana law.

As part of your pre-divorce planning, you should review your life insurance policies and make sure that your designated beneficiaries are the ones you want to receive the proceeds. Likewise, as you think about how to divide your marital property, consider the impact on survivors if you and a former spouse continue to co-own real estate such as the former family home. Discuss with your lawyer what happens to your 401K if you die before you retire and before it has been partitioned in your property settlement. Divorce and death have things in common. Be prepared to face both of them.

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I hired Louis to represent me in my custody battle. From the start he was upfront and honest with me, if he said he was going to do something he did it and he never attempted to settle for anything less than what I was asking. He was not afraid to go head to head with opposing counsel which is what...


I had no idea how to even look for an attorney when I found myself needing one. Mr. Cosenza is the best attorney I have encountered, and I took a lot of time finding one. He is brilliant in matters of the law. He approached my case from every angle. I am so thankful he was my attorney. I started out...


My journey with Mr. Cosenza began nearly 3 years ago when I contacted him about divorce proceedings. During our initial consultation he told me exactly what to expect and we discussed cost, which I thought reasonable. After retaining him as my attorney and finalizing my divorce, things became fairly...


Working with Louis Cosenza truly helped to make my very difficult emotional and legal situation feel much more comfortable as I knew his experience and expertise was there to support and guide me. He knows the law and he does his very best to use that knowledge to represent his clients in and out of...


I would like to start by saying I am from TX and my ex wife tried to file a judgment in LA. I contacted a number of lawyers that explained to me that this maybe a process that they could look into. I spoke with Mr. Cosenza with his 30 plus year of experience and he assured me this was not going to...


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