A divorce can be a long and drawn out process. By the time it's finished the divorcees are so glad to be finished they may not realize some important financial mistakes may have been made. It may not seem important at the time but if not corrected it may lead to bigger problems down the road. This can be especially true if the death of one of the parties occurs. Here are a few tips directly from a divorce lawyer that he finds happens all too often.
IRA's, Insurance, And Annuities
It's not uncommon for married people to name their spouse as the beneficiary to their investments, insurance policies and bank accounts in the event of their death. All too often these accounts are scattered across many financial institutions rather than concentrated within a few. This makes it easy to forget one or two if you're going to change the beneficiary. You may not want to bother with that one little account thinking it won't matter but if you have forgotten more than that one, the balance could soon at up to a tidy sum. It usually is not difficult to make the required changes. If you have problems doing so your divorce lawyer will be able to help you.
Living Wills And Trusts
The purpose of an irrevocable trust is you can't change your mind once it has been executed. This holds true for any other similar structured accounts. If you work with your divorce lawyer and the trustees you may be able to negotiate a change that is acceptable to all parties. You may even be able to change the structure of the account entirely, depending on the situation.
You should not have this problem with a living will or revocable trust accounts. The process to alter these instruments may take some time and effort on your part as well as that of your divorce lawyer. You will want to change the power of the trustee first thing. Don't forget to change any powers of attorney you may have authorized as well as the health care power of attorney. These changes all take time and effort but in the long run it's better to take care of as part of the divorce proceedings than ignore it and suffer the consequences later.
If you are dealing with a divorce attorney as part of the divorce process and one spouse dies the former partner will still inherit property as originally directed by the will. Each state varies to some decree to be sure to check with your divorce attorney but many states prohibit a spouse to be completely written out of a will. Technically then you would have to wait until the entire divorce procedure is completed before changing your will to have it be legal.
Once your divorce attorney has finalized your divorce you are then free to change and alter your will any way you see fit. You may want to include your ex spouse if you so desire. However, if you do not make changes your possessions will be distributed according to the original document, which may not be your current wishes. If you have any major life changing occurrences in your life you will want to have your will reviewed, perhaps not by a divorce attorney but someone that specializes in inheritance law.
Regardless if you have a Chicago divorce attorney or an divorce lawyer elsewhere in the country be sure to discuss some of the most common mistakes that are made by divorcees. These items may not seem important at the time but in the long run it's better to take care of them now before they become a larger problem in the future.
Christine O'Kelly is the author for the successful http://www.vojtalaw.com/ ">Chicago divorce attorney at Vojta Law. As a fierce http://www.vojtalaw.com/ ">divorce lawyer in Chicago, this legal group handles all types of divorce, separation, and family law issues with professionalism and care.