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What to Keep in Mind If You’re Getting Divorced During the Pandemic

August 18, 2020

Filed under: Divorce — Laura Pennington @ 2:21 pm

Plenty of people have rethought their life choices including the partners, their homes and even their careers as a result of the pandemic. If you are one of the people who is thinking about getting a divorce, you are not alone since this prolonged period of being at home could lead some people to make the decision that it’s time for a change.

If you’re ready for the next chapter in your life, you need to be prepared for several different things that you can and should not do. First of all, if you begin to file for divorce you cannot change beneficiary designations of retirement accounts and life insurance policies or retitle assets. 

The vast majority of states will block you from being allowed to transfer ownership of assets or changing your beneficiary designations until assets have been divided as part of the divorce court process. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t update anything. You are eligible to update your trust and your will so that you can identify a new guardian for your children or name a new trustee or executor. 

You’ll also want to have a sit down conversation with your divorce attorney and potentially your estate planning attorney about some of the other issues that often come up around divorce. You might be interested in updating your materials as soon as possible to disinherit your spouse but there is the possibility that your spouse could still have a claim against your estate if you pass away during the divorce. 

Before the divorce is final, you’ll need to be clear about the ability for these documents to remain active and active in terms of allowing your spouse to inherit something. If you attempt to disinherit your spouse entirely while the divorce is still pending and you pass away, your spouse could actually sue your estate for the assets they would be entitled to under state law. For a conversation about these complicated issues, contact your dedicated estate planning attorney to discuss your options.        

 

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