New Wills And Beneficiary Designations After Divorce Or Separation
North Carolina’s probate code invalidates certain portions of wills made before a divorce. Following the signing of a separation agreement or divorce, you probably will need a new will, power of attorney, etc. It’s important to act quickly to resolve these matters as accidents or other incidents can arise at any time. Ensuring your will and other estate planning instruments are up-to-date can provide peace of mind as you start moving forward with your life post divorce.
If you wish to pursue this issue or have other questions regarding divorce and family law matters, please discuss it with us at Scott Law Group, at an appropriate time. We handle divorce and legal separation in the Winston-Salem area and throughout North Carolina.
You need to be aware that once a judgment of absolute divorce is entered, a person may change the beneficiary designation on any qualified retirement plan. Once you are finally divorced, you should review and change the beneficiary designations on your retirement plans as appropriate. Even prior to divorce you can change the beneficiary designations on your IRAs and insurance policies as well as your will. Of course, if you have made some agreement or you have been ordered to maintain your spouse or children as beneficiaries, you must honor that obligation.
Be aware that if you are the beneficiary of a pension plan and a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) enforcing your rights to this pension plan has not been entered at the time of the final divorce, you may be at risk for losing any claim to this plan. If the participant spouse dies before the QDRO has been signed by a judge and accepted by the retirement plan administrator, you may lose all your rights to receive benefits under the retirement plan. The QDRO needs to be completed as early as the circumstances of the case will allow. Many times, it is practically impossible to complete the QDRO before a final divorce because there has been no agreement or the court has not ruled on your claim for equitable distribution. You should assist your attorney in every way possible in gathering the necessary information about all retirement plans so that this work can be completed expeditiously.
Speak With Us To Learn More
To schedule a consultation, call our attorneys and staff at Scott Law Group, at 336-310-8569 or 800-566-2907, or send an email by completing our contact form. Our office is located in Kernersville, North Carolina, and we work with clients throughout the state.