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A look at issues surrounding changes in beneficiaries in divorce

Texas residents who are seeking a divorce may be interested in some information regarding the changing of beneficiaries after a divorce. Making these changes properly can be a very important step in separating at the end of a marriage.

When a Texas couple is married, it is common for them to name each other as beneficiaries on various assets, from retirement accounts to life insurance policies. After a divorce, however, a person usually no longer wishes for their former spouse to receive those benefits. In most situations, though, the beneficiary cannot be changed once the divorce proceedings have begun. Therefore, the change will have to be made on each individual account after the divorce has been finalized.

Spouses sometimes use alternative methods to change the beneficiary names on these accounts and policies. Some, for instance, amend their will to direct the person that should be the beneficiary on the accounts, rather than on the policies themselves. This is an issue, since the one named in the policy or account itself takes priority over the terms of a will. Others try to make the beneficiary change before the divorce is filed, but this could lead to the account administrator alerting the beneficiary of the change. This could, in turn, alert the person's spouse that something is coming, which many who are seeking a divorce want to avoid.

When a couple is going through a high-asset divorce, there can be may complicated issues, such as complex asset division and dealing with the terms of existing prenuptial agreements. An attorney with experience in this type of situation may be able to assist a spouse throughout the entire process, from filing the divorce papers to representing them in front of a judge.

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