November 28, 2021

Volume XI, Number 332

Advertisement
Advertisement

Remember to Change Beneficiaries Upon Divorce

When getting divorced, make sure that you complete all change of beneficiary forms so that they accurately reflect what you want to accomplish.

There are several cases where a divorce agreement stated specifically that the divorced spouse would not receive any retirement or insurance benefits but the decedent spouse failed to change the actual beneficiary forms on the particular assets.   In these cases despite the contrary intention of the decedent spouse, the divorced spouse received all the retirement and life insurance.

When the death benefits are federal benefits, the federal forms on designation of beneficiaries control.  In one case, the decedent spouse completed the necessary form designating his new spouse but did not have it properly witnessed.  The federal form required a proper witness.  Therefore, the designation was declared invalid and the divorced spouse received all the benefits.

Do not rely upon language in your agreement or the final order of divorce.  Make sure that the beneficiary designation forms are completed properly and accurately. 

© 2021 Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 309
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

J. Patrick McConnell, Odin Feldman Law Firm, Family Law Attorney
Shareholder

With more than 30 years of experience in Family & Domestic Relations law, Patrick McConnell represents clients who have particularly complicated matters that cross state or international boundaries, or that involve complex financial issues. His background in finance and knowledge of tax law provide insight that can lead to innovative solutions. When necessary, Patrick teams with an attorney from the firm’s Estate Planning or Corporate practice areas to assist with the preservation of wealth for his clients' children or their future generations.

Patrick is chair of the Family...

703-218-2185
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement