By the end of a case, most divorcees are so glad to be finished dividing the two lives that it is common for a Fairfax divorce attorney to see them forget about numerous financial areas. While they may not seem important at the time, it can create huge problems later on — particularly in the event that one of the two sides passes on. Here is a miniature checklist from a Fairfax divorce lawyer of items he finds fall by the wayside until it is too late.
If a spouse passes on while the two of you are still dealing with a divorce attorney, the former partner will inherit according to the wishes set out in the will. While you can change this somewhat during the proceedings, it depends on where you live as some states make it illegal for you to write a husband or wife out completely until everything is final. You can check this with your divorce lawyer and the appropriate authorities.
At the completion of the case, your ex can no longer inherit unless you specifically state it in your will. However, if you do not renew this portion of your will, everything he or she was previously entitled to will go to whoever was named to collect anything remaining. Anytime your circumstances change significantly, it is always a good idea to update your estate planning.
Irrevocable / Revocable Trusts And Living Wills
Irrevocable trusts and similar financial structures are extremely difficult and almost impossible for you or your divorce lawyer to change once they’re set. By working with your divorce attorney and the trustees, you may be able to make some adjustments or change the structure completely depending on the situation.
For things such as living wills or revocable trusts, the process may become a little long and drawn out, but they are possible to change. You might have to change other things first such as the power of trustee, but it is far better to deal with right away than to have an undesirable outcome you can do nothing to change or prevent. The power of attorney and health care powers should be updated if needed anyway.
Payable Or Transfer On Death Accounts, Retirement Plans, Insurance, And Annuities
Any bank accounts, investments, stocks, or policies you have may be set to go to your former spouse automatically at the time of your death. Many people will have a large number of these scattered at various employers and financial institutions. Even if they don’t amount to much on their own, they can add up to large amounts that you may not want going to your former partner. On the bright side, they generally require nothing more than proof of identity and a few forms in order to change them. Your divorce lawyer should be able to help you with anything that becomes difficult.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a Fairfax divorce attorney, or a legal professional elsewhere in the country, he or she will help you come up with a list of common financial items that fall frequently get missed once the case is finalized. It may seem inconvenient to switch everything as soon as you are finished with your divorce lawyer, but keep in mind that you never know when something will happen.