After your divorce is final, you may feel flooded with relief. But don’t go heading off into your new life without first attending to a few crucial post-divorce details: namely, updating official documents to reflect your new status. Here are the top four documents to revise.
Wills and Trusts
These documents might confer ownership of specific property to your ex-spouse after you die. If you no longer wish for them to receive the property, you need to change the document. Update the beneficiaries to the will and ensure the documents reflect your new marital status. You should also reconsider any guardians you’d appointed for your minor children and as managers for the estate. You may no longer want your ex to be an executor.
Titles and Deeds
If your divorce decree has granted you the deed for real estate or title of a vehicle, make the transfer official as soon as possible. Although the divorce decree has conferred these properties to you, if they are currently in your ex’s name or you share title, you will not fully own them until you’ve made these changes. Shared ownership means that you would have to get your ex’s permission if you wanted to sell the property–a situation you probably don’t want to find yourself in.
Pensions or 401K
If the divorce decree splits your pension or retirement account, your attorney will need a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Retirement Order) to begin the transfer process. You should take this action as soon as possible. A QDRO is a court order that instructs the retirement plan administration on how to divide the assets. Once the QDRO is complete, file it with the court. Without this order, you may not be able to divide the assets as agreed. Also, don’t forget to review the beneficiaries on your accounts. If your spouse is listed, you may want to remove them.
Bank Accounts & Credit Cards
If you have any joint accounts bank or credit card accounts that are open, close them down. As well, make sure that your spouse has removed your name from any accounts they may be using, as you could become liable for their debt, despite the divorce. Finally, ensure that your spouse doesn’t have access to, and isn’t a beneficiary of, your online accounts such as PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, or E-trade.
If you’re considering a divorce or separation or in the middle of one now, you need skilled legal guidance. At Tenn and Tenn, P.A., our experienced New Hampshire family law attorneys can help guide you through the process and protect your rights. Give us a call at (603) 624-3700 or contact us online today.