During divorce most couples are focused on what they consider to be the most pressing issues. Property acquired throughout the marriage, child custody, and financial support are the things that are most discussed throughout a contested divorce. Once the divorce is finalized, adults focus on moving on with their lives while creating normalcy for their children. In many situations divorced couples do not remember to change certain legal documents that have become outdated after the dissolution of their marriage. Updating legal documents after a divorce is extremely important since failing to do so could cause confusion in the future for yourself or your heirs.
Short Term and Long Term Disability Policies
After a divorce most people remember to remove their spouses from medical insurance policies provided by their employer. Doing so will usually reduce the monthly premium providing the average adult with the motivation needed to make updating their medical insurance a priority. Unfortunately, it is common for people to overlook updating short term and long term disability policies they hold with secondary insurance companies like AFLAC who work with their employer. Not updating the policy can cause a great deal of confusion or possibly a claim denial if you later remarry and file a claim for a spouse whose name is different than the name listed in the policy.
Wills and Living Wills
Both wills and living wills should be updated immediately following a divorce. Though Georgia law treats a divorced spouse who is named in a will as though he or she predeceased you and revokes your former spouse as an agent in a living will, it is safest to create a new will or living will anyway. Changes to a living will are especially important since a former spouse attempting to make medical decisions on your behalf while in possession of the old living will could cause problems without family present to notify healthcare staff that a divorce occurred. Having a current will and living will at all times protects you and your heirs from going through unnecessary legal proceedings to verify that a divorce occurred that prevents a former spouse from inheriting or making medical decisions.
Life Insurance Policies
Changing the beneficiary on life insurance policies is one of the things that newly divorced couples overlook most frequently. Failing to update beneficiaries could cause problems if a person dies and his or her heirs learn that a former spouse is the beneficiary on a life insurance policy. After getting divorced a person should change all policies to designating children, parents, or other relatives as beneficiaries unless their divorce agreement requires a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy to secure child support or alimony payments. If you are unsure what your divorce agreement stipulates regarding life insurance policies, have your attorney check the agreement for you.
When to Seek Assistance
Changing multiple legal documents after a divorce can be a time consuming process. In some situations, a person may need to keep certain documents such as life insurance policies intact. If you are having difficulty understanding what legal documents to update, contact an attorney to help. The divorce attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how difficult post-divorce paperwork is and are able to aid you with this transition. Contact our offices at 678-736-7700 to schedule a consultation today so that we can discuss your unique situation.