During a divorce, your primary focus will frequently be on dividing your assets, working out alimony, and deciding on the custody of your children, as well as their financial support. There are a number of other tasks to which you should also give some thought. One thing that divorcing couples sometimes neglect is to change their beneficiaries. Generally, your spouse will be the beneficiary of your assets, but once you get divorced, you might not want him or her to get your assets upon your death. Talk to your divorce attorney about how you want to restructure a series of important documents, including these three.
If you already have a will, which is hopefully the case, you probably have your spouse listed as the beneficiary. If you don't have children, it's probable that your will stipulates that you wish to leave 100 percent of your assets to him or her. This is something that you'll likely want to change once you start to go through the process of divorcing. Changing a will is fairly easy, and since many family attorneys handle estate planning and divorce cases, there's a possibility that your attorney can take care of this change for you.
If you have financial investments, such as a retirement savings plan, mutual funds, or other investments, you typically need to list a beneficiary for these assets. If you had the assets before you got married, you might not be dividing them during your divorce — and that can mean that you don't give them much thought during this time. However, any good divorce attorney will talk to you about these assets and remind you of the need to change the beneficiary information. The attorney can't make this change — you'll need to call your banking institutions for that — but the attorney's guidance will be valuable.
You may also have a life insurance policy that lists your spouse as your beneficiary. This might also be something that you want to change at the time of your divorce. This is another topic that you might not think about, but that your divorce attorney can bring your awareness to. He or she can also offer guidance about how to change this information. For example, if you have children, you might want to list them as the beneficiaries of the insurance policy — keeping the money in trust until they're old enough to receive it, if applicable.
Contact a law office, like the Bray & Johnson Law Firm, for more help.