It goes without saying that your divorce in Buffalo will have a dramatic impact on your future outlook (including your estate plans). Your ex-spouse likely features heavily in both your estate instruments as well as other financial aspects of your life. Many in your same situation have come to members of our team here at Linda M. DiPasquale, Attorney at Law believing that they need to get the jump on formally removing their ex-spouse from any legal agreements or designations they may have. If you have the same concerns, we admire your desire to be prepared, yet at the same time want you to take such steps properly.
The law does not allow you to simply cut your ex-spouse out of your life until matters related to your divorce have been resolved. Indeed, according to Section 202.16(a) of New York’s Codes, Rules and Regulations, you cannot remove your ex-spouse’s name from any individual or jointly held assets (nor can you arrange for the sale or transfer of any such assets) until your divorce becomes final. The same holds true for any investments, holdings or retirement accounts. You also cannot remove your ex-spouse as a covered entity or beneficiary from any of your insurance policies, including:
All of these updates must wait until your marriage is formally dissolved. As far as updating your will, you need not worry about your ex-spouse inheriting your assets should you die before you change it. Divorce effectively invalidates any provisions concerning them. That does not mean that you should wait to amend it to reflect your current situation, as you may want to remain a part of it (as a trustee over your kids’ assets, perhaps).
More information on financial considerations following your divorce can be found throughout our site.