Remember to Update Your Financial Documents After Divorce

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided a case that shows just how important it is to update legal documents and financial portfolios after a divorce. In Hillman v. Maretta, a man’s ex-wife remained the beneficiary on his life insurance policy despite the fact that he had been divorced from her for over nine years and married to his second wife for roughly six. Up until that point, Virginia law held that spouses could no longer remain as beneficiaries upon divorce. The ex-wife maintained, however, that because the benefits were from a federal life insurance policy, she should remain the beneficiary despite Virginia’s law. The Supreme Court ruled in her favor. Because the ex-wife was the named beneficiary, she was entitled to the benefits.

divorce finances With this in mind, there are a number of documents that you need to remember to update after a divorce. The list below is not exhaustive, and should only serve as an example of the types of documents that need to be updated after this life-changing event.

First, it is clear from Hillman that all designations of your former spouse as your beneficiary should be updated. This includes life insurance, bank accounts, and all other money saved with such designations.

Second, do not forget to change your will. Although some states change your will upon divorce as a matter of law, many do not. To make sure that your former spouse does not inherit something you wish to go elsewhere, edit your will after leaving your partner.

Finally, there is a litany of other documents that may cause you legal or financial trouble in the future if you are not careful, as well as systematic, about changing all of the records associated with you and your ex-husband or wife. These can include credit cards, passports, property titles, and even names that you have written down as your ‘emergency contact’ in places that you regularly visit, like your place of employment or the gym.

Divorce is a complex process with many moving pieces. With emotions on both sides running high, and trying to ensure that a divorce moves as quickly as possible, sometimes things like updating legal documents can go overlooked. Experienced DuPage divorce attorneys can help sort everything out. If you are seeking a divorce, contact our law office today.We provide help to residents of Aurora, Oswego, Naperville, Yorkville, and other nearby cities.

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