If you are anticipating getting a divorce or your divorce has just been finalized, you need to make sure you call your estate planning attorney. Many clients name their ex-spouse as a fiduciary or a beneficiary of their trust or retirement policies. If you fail to make changes to your documents your Ex could end up getting your entire estate.
Make sure you inform your family law attorney that you have a trust, will or power of attorney. After your divorce, meet with your estate planning attorney to change your beneficiary designations, revoke your will and/or amend your trust.
State law may revoke your will; however, the same is not to be said for your trust or qualified retirement plans. 401(k)s, employer provided life insurance policies and pensions are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA mandates that the plan administrator pay funds over to the beneficiary named in the plan designation. So change your beneficiary designations or your Ex may get it all!