Divorce brings a whirlwind of changes, new responsibilities, and tasks to be completed, and it can be easy to overlook things that are not directly related to finalizing the divorce. One thing you should never overlook, though, is updating beneficiary designations on important documents and policies. Women who choose to change their name after the divorce should also remember to update important documents with their name change.

Updating Your Name

Many women decide to take their spouse’s name when they get married. But after divorce, some choose to go by their maiden names once again. Whether you do so is up to you, but if you choose to change your name, remember that you will have to not only request the change but also update many documents and accounts with your new name.

The best way to request the name change is to include an order to restore your maiden name in your divorce decree. If you are currently going through the divorce process, you can ask the judge to enter an order regarding the name change. Once your divorce is finalized, a copy of that order is all you will need to move forward with the name change.

However, if your divorce has already been finalized without the name restoration order included, you will have to file a name change case.

Once the name change is made official, your first stop should be the Social Security Office. You will need to bring a copy of the final judgment to change your name on your Social Security Card.

After that, you will need to remove your ex-spouse’s name from and update your new name on important documents and accounts, such as the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Voter ID
  • Other IDs
  • Passport
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Retirement accounts
  • Mortgage or lease
  • Car loans
  • Insurance policies
  • Will
  • Any online accounts

Updating Beneficiary Information

Married couples often name their spouse as their beneficiary on various insurance policies and financial accounts. When you get divorced, you may want to remove your spouse as beneficiary. When you pass away, the beneficiary will receive certain assets and benefits associated with the policy or account.

You will need to update your beneficiary information on various policies including:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement plans and pensions
  • Annuities
  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • Wills

You may change your designations before or after the divorce, but you may not be able to do so during the proceedings.

Also, it is important to note that disinheriting your ex-spouse in your will is not enough. You will need to change your beneficiary designation for each of your assets individually. Otherwise, whatever is specified on the asset can overrule your will and your ex-spouse can reap the benefits.

Consult David Ward at the Ward Law Firm to help you navigate the divorce process and address any obstacles that arise along the way. Call us at 770-383-1973 for a REAL Case Analysis.

David Ward
Georgia Divorce, Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney. Helping Parents Protect The Things That Matter Most
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