The Top 5 Mistakes People Make After Divorce - Mistake No. 3

This post is part of a 5-part series.  If you want to read the other posts in this series (yes, yes you do), just click here.

Mistake No. 3 — Not revising their estate plan or changing beneficiaries on retirement or insurance policies.

A will or other estate planning document prepared before or during your marriage is now likely null and void as a result of the divorce (and, I am guessing you want to change them anyway, right?!)

Right after the conclusion of your divorce is probably the right time to revisit your estate planning (or visit it for the first time.)

At the very least, however, please do not forget to change your life insurance and retirement plan beneficiaries if your divorce judgment allows you to do so.

Most of us name a spouse as the beneficiary on our life insurance policies and retirement plans.  After a divorce is concluded and the retirement plans are divided, you might no longer have to maintain your (now former) spouse as a beneficiary.  (Alternatively, your Judgment may require you to maintain life insurance naming your former spouse (or child's other parent) as beneficiary so that this money is available for your children's care in the event you die before your children are emancipated.)

If your Judgment does not require you to maintain your former spouse as the beneficiary on your life insurance or retirement plans, then change the beneficiary designations.

How do you know?  You have to take your Judgment out of the drawer and read it.  (You knew I was going to say that, right?)

This can be accomplished by taking a few minutes to fill out some simple paperwork.  If you neglect to make these changes, then your now former spouse remains your beneficiary and, upon  your death, your former spouse will receive the retirement asset or insurance proceeds, perhaps instead of your children or subsequent spouse.

If you have a question about your Judgment or any other family law issue, then we should talk.  Click here to gain direct access to my calendar to schedule an initial complimentary call with me.  Take care until then.

P.S. This post is part of a 5-part series.  If you want to read the other posts in this series (yes, yes you do), just click here.


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