Heymann & Fletcher

Consider estate planning needs at the end of a marriage

For many New Jersey residents, bringing a marriage to a close is an onerous process, one that is filled with a seemingly endless list of to-do items. One important need that is often overlooked at the end of a marriage is the need to make changes to one's estate planning documents. This is especially true in regard to life insurance, which falls outside of the provisions laid out in one's will.

Most spouses list their partner as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy. In the event of a divorce, alterations are usually intended. However, many people simply never get around to making those changes. Some believe that if they create a new will, then the terms held within that document will dictate how assets are distributed. In reality, however, life insurance and many other types of assets for which a benefit is named will simply pass down to the individual named in the account.

That can mean leaving a significant windfall to a former spouse, something that few individuals intend. If a person has gone on to marry again, or to have children with a new partner, then things become even more complicated. If a former spouse remains listed as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, then the intended heirs may be forced to take the matter to court.

Many states have laws on the books that outline how these types of issues should be resolved. However, those laws can change, and the parties might also have moved from New Jersey to a different state with different guidelines on the matter. The best way to ensure that one's final wishes are honored after the end of a marriage is to overhaul all aspects of estate planning, including changing beneficiary designations as desired.

Source: natlawreview.com, "Divorces Can Be Messy - For Life Insurers", Charles J. Vinicombe, April 18, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

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.


Privacy Policy

Office Location:

Heymann & Fletcher
1201 Sussex Turnpike
Randolph, NJ 07869

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029
Randolph Law Office Map

Heymann & Fletcher
Mailing Address
PO Box 518
Mount Freedom, NJ 07970

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029