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Michelle Ash offers the following advice for women on how to handle various financial issues after divorce, something that is often over-looked.
And there are smaller, but also important, items such as removing the ex-spouse from credit cards, bank accounts, gym memberships, and so forth.But there is also an underlying category of items of equal, or perhaps greater, significance that often are forgotten - until it's too late.These items control where assets will go when a client passes away, and given the emotional turmoil accompanying most divorces, many clients and families alike will agree that the last person they want to bequeath assets after death would be the former spouse.Yet all too often, this is what happens as divorced individuals move ahead with their new lives, avoiding the pain of their recent divorce with that common enemy of resolution - procrastination.First, let's list the important items a client may want to consider amending: Beneficiary designations for the following financial instruments: Since the spouse is usually the individual selected to receive or inherit property controlled by these documents and instructions, many, if not all, of these items will need to be amended.Amending the Beneficiary The items above are listed in the general order of difficulty to amend.
A beneficiary designation can be very simple to change.
Typically these changes simply involve the client obtaining the proper form, completing it, and putting it on file so their request is documented.
The same is true for Transfer on Death (TOD) and Payable on Death (POD) accounts an individual may hold at an investment firm or a banking institution respectively.
Having said that these arrangements are the easiest to amend, they are also the easiest to forget, since the assets controlled by these accounts may not have changed as a result of the divorce.
This danger applies particularly for retirement accounts - employer plans such as 401(k)'s and 403(b)'s, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).
Retirement arrangements and employer plans often represent a significant portion, if not the majority, of a client's net worth and liquid assets.