As painful as a divorce can be, the good thing about it is that it gets over. Once your divorce is over and done with, a new life begins for both the spouses. The end of a divorce is the end of the legal battle, but there are financial matters that then need to be taken care of.
The financial issues you face post-divorce are not all the same things. Some of them can be big things such as re-titling of the home, the car and other asset divisions, and then there are smaller but considerably important items such as making sure your ex spouses name is removed from the gym membership, credit cards, etc.
While these may be important issues, there is another aspect that can often go unnoticed in most cases but is of paramount importance and that is the issue of inheritance of possession if the spouse passes away. Hence amending the beneficiary titles once you have gone through a divorce is important. Here is a list of a few things you might want to change the beneficiary designations for.
- Retirement plans by the employer
- Savings accounts for health
- Payable on Death (POD) bank accounts
- Powers of Attorney
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
- Life insurance Annuities
- Health care documents such as living wills and power of attorneys
- Investment accounts such as the transfer of death ones
- Revocable trusts
- Advanced estate planning structures such as irrevocable trusts
Amending the Beneficiary
The items mentioned in the list above can have varying difficulties in managing. To get the beneficiary designation changed is usually a very easy process. All you need to do is get the proper form for it, fill it up and submit it on the file so that your request is documented. Much like what you do after an Orange County divorce, transfer on death title and payable on death are claimed similar to that. While it is true that these are one of the easiest to amend, they can also slip through your mind with relative ease.
The most dangerous situation in this regard can come from retirement accounts, which will usually include:
- 401(K) Employer Plans
- 403(B) Employer Plans
- Individual Retirements Accounts
There are other things where a change of titles may need a little more time than normal. In the case of health care documents, power of attorney documents and wills/estate plans, you’ll need to take the help of a family law and estate planning attorney who is well versed in dealing with such stuff.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.