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How smart estate planning can protect a business in divorce

In some instances, the first and final go-to contact for legal help in a property-linked divorce matter is a proven family law attorney. Experienced counsel specializing in that singular legal sphere can do a number of things to help a divorcing client safeguard assets and secure an equal or otherwise equitable share of so-called marital property.

Moreover, that help can extend to virtually all manner of property, ranging from a family home and investment accounts to artwork, heirlooms and company-tied assets such as pensions, bonuses and stock options.

And family businesses are sometimes centrally in the mix as well, being understandably core concerns in many comparatively high-asset American divorces.

A recent family law columnist penning an article for Forbes duly notes that, pointing out particularly that divorcing women can have an especially compelling need to safeguard businesses borne of their own creativity and passion. It is often the case – and certainly true in California – that business growth incurred during marriage is deemed divisible community property.

A legal instrument like a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial contract can provide for some protection against that.

So too, notes Forbes writer Jeff Landers, can one or more trust vehicles. Trusts are highly flexible and often potent legal instruments in the estate planning realm, and they can command equal utility in the family law universe. In fact, family law and estate administration can – and often do – closely connect in myriad ways.

Landers rightly stresses that an individual thinking about trust creation relevant to a family business and possible divorce ensure “plenty of lead time” to consult with a proven estate planning attorney.

If you have business and/or other separate assets that you are bringing into a marriage and want to see continually protected, close consultation with a seasoned estate administration lawyer can help promote that goal.

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