What Should I Do If My Ex-Spouse Is Still a Beneficiary?

It is important to update your will or trust with every life-changing event, including divorce. Our estate planning lawyers at Dossey & Jones, PLLC can help you amend your will and designate the people you want to be your beneficiaries. In general, your ex-spouse will be treated as having predeceased you after a divorce. Until the divorce is finalized, however, your to-be ex-spouse will be treated as if you are still married.

In some cases, if you fail to update your Will or beneficiary designations, your ex-spouse may be entitled to your benefits even after your marriage is dissolved. Texas laws provide information regarding situations where a divorced spouse is still a beneficiary to the other spouse’s assets, and there are three factors to consider when making sure your ex-spouse is not a beneficiary.

An Ex-Spouse May Be a Beneficiary If Specified in the Decree of Divorce.

In some cases, the Decree of Divorce can list the ex-spouse as the beneficiary to your will or trust. This means that, even after the divorce is finalized, your former spouse is still entitled to receive the benefits of your insurance policies and assets. In order to avoid this situation, it is important to pay attention to the specific details of your Decree of Divorce and make sure you understand what they mean.

An Ex-Spouse May Be a Beneficiary If Re-Designated by the Insurance Company.

After the divorce, you may re-designate your former spouse as a beneficiary of your insurance policy. If you choose not to do this, your ex-spouse will not be a beneficiary of your estate. This option allows you to choose if you want your ex-spouse to continue acting as your beneficiary after the divorce is finalized.

An Ex-Spouse May Be a Beneficiary If Children Are Involved.

Your ex-spouse may still receive the benefits of your estate if he or she is acting on behalf of children or dependents. This means that if your ex-spouse receives the benefits in trust for, or for the benefit of, a child or dependent, the insurance company will still designate your former spouse as a legal beneficiary. If children are involved, it is important to consider the situation and remember that even if your ex-spouse is not a beneficiary, you can still set your children as your beneficiaries.

Understand Your Options & Seek Legal Help

At Dossey & Jones, PLLC, our experienced estate planning attorneys can answer your questions and walk you through the process. We care about each client, and we know you want to provide for the ones you love. After divorce, it is important to update your beneficiary designations, and The Woodlands estate planning lawyers at our firm are here to help.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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