Weinman & Associates, P.C.
Legal Answers Now 512-472-4040

Texas divorces and beneficiary designations

If you have an estate plan in place, you'll likely be making some changes to it as soon as your divorce is final -- if not sooner. Chances are you no longer want your soon-to-be ex to have powers of attorney over your health care and finances should you become incapacitated, for example.

However, even if you don't have an estate plan, you've likely named your spouse as your beneficiary for your retirement accounts, life insurance policy and other assets. The good news is that in Texas, unlike in some other states, spouses are automatically removed as beneficiaries once a divorce is final. Therefore, if you forget to do this, your ex won't inherit these assets when you pass away.

If you didn't designate a secondary, or contingent, beneficiary, those assets will go to your estate upon your death. If you don't have an estate plan designating how your assets will be divided, that division could be determined by a probate judge in accordance with state laws.

That's one reason why it's always wise to designate not just a primary beneficiary but a contingent beneficiary on all of these accounts. Even if you forget to remove your ex-spouse, that secondary beneficiary will automatically inherit those assets.

What if you still want your former spouse to be the primary beneficiary for these assets? Maybe you've even agreed to that as part of your divorce settlement. You will need to notify the institution or company that holds the asset. They may have different procedures, so make sure that you follow their instructions and that it's clear that you want your now-former spouse to be the primary beneficiary.

Don't make any changes to your estate plan or any beneficiary designations without first talking to your Austin family law attorney. You don't want to do anything that would make you noncompliant with your divorce agreement.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Now To Begin
Speaking With An Attorney

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Weinman & Associates, P.C. Review Us

Office Location

Weinman & Associates, P.C.
8200 North MoPac Expressway
Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

Phone: 512-472-4040
Fax: 512-472-4086
Austin Law Office Map