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Heritage Tree LogoHow Do I Change My Beneficiaries After a Divorce?

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You may have designated your spouse as the beneficiary of your estate. But, understandably so, you may want to change this designation if you end up in a divorce. Read on to discover whether it is possible to change your beneficiaries after your divorce and how one of the seasoned Butler County remarriage protection attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning LLC can help you through this.

Is it possible to change my beneficiaries after my divorce?

The short answer is, yes, you may have the ability to change your beneficiaries after your divorce. Though, this process may not be as straightforward as you initially anticipate.

For one, it is easy to forget about your beneficiary designations for assets that do not pass through your Last Will or trust, such as your life insurance policy or your retirement plan. You must remember to update this, or else your former spouse will receive the funds in your life insurance and retirement account when you pass on.

In addition, even if you update your beneficiary designations before your divorce, you may still need to revisit this matter once your divorce is finalized. This is because, in the state of Pennsylvania, your beneficiaries cannot be changed without the consent of your former spouse or a court order made in the final judgment of your divorce.

How else should I edit my estate plan after my divorce?

Your life insurance policy and your retirement plan are just a couple of the many estate plan components that you must change after your divorce. That is, it may be in your best interest to make the following edits:

  • You must determine whether you need to replace your former spouse as the agent of your financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney.
  • You must determine whether you need to replace your former spouse as the trustee or successor trustee of your revocable living trust.
  • You must determine whether you need to create a new Last Will if your current one names your former spouse as the executor and primary beneficiary of your estate.

Generally speaking, it is best to revisit all of your estate planning documents at the finalization of your divorce. This is because, with your divorce, you may no longer have ownership over certain marital assets that are mentioned in these documents. Or, your living situation may have changed from what these documents express. What’s more, you may even be interested in remarrying or growing your family.

Evidently, making these changes is no easy feat. It should go without mentioning that you must consult with one of the competent Butler County estate planning attorneys immediately. Give us a call whenever you are ready.

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