Five Things to Remember When Your Divorce is DoneAug 24, 2022
Divorce is an opportunity to plan your future.
As a divorce mediation based in Minnesota, I have had several estate planning attorneys on my podcast, this may seem like an odd match for Doing Divorce Different. However divorce and future planning are very connected. Estate Planners have a lot of knowledge about planning for your future and working with families. Let me share what I learned and what I know.
First of all, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have an estate plan prior to divorce. The word on the street is you basically need to start from scratch after a divorce. If you have an estate plan in place the work of doing a new one may be easier; as you have already thought through where you want your assets to go in the future. Here is a list of 5 things to remember to do when the divorce is done:
1. Real Estate Deeds
When I help clients with the divorce process I like to remind them, if their home is changing ownership, make sure a deed is filed with the new owner named. This is why I always ask clients to show me a copy of their deed and a detailed legal description of the property.
2. Change Title on Other Property
Clients also are reminded to make sure the cars, boats and anything else they possess with a title is in the correct person's name.
Making sure you have the correct beneficiary named on your account is paramount. Many times my clients like to keep the ex spouse named as a beneficiary (and in certain circumstances they are legally bound to); sometimes with divorce the ex-spouse is automatically taken off as a beneficiary. Please double check your beneficiary designations when your divorce is complete.
4. Retirement Plans
When you are dealing with Qualified retirement plans a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) is necessary. A QDRO is a decree requiring a portion of the retirement plan be assigned or paid to another person, such as the soon to be ex-spouse. It is extremely important that you transfer these retirement plans with a QDRO in order to maintain the tax benefits.
5. Create a New Estate Plan
I know I know this is so obvious! But it truly needs to be said. Your current estate plan no longer applies.
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