Beneficiary Designations Checklist for Collaborative Teams

Beneficiary Designations Checklist for Collaborative Divorce Agreements. Blue green sea foam on sand.

This Beneficiary Designations Checklist for collaborative teams can help couples develop options for beneficiary designations after divorce.

Collaborative Practice teams may use the checklist when one spouse may want the other named as beneficiary of insurance policies, annuities, accounts, or other assets. The couple and their Collaborative Practice team may follow the checklist work towards Collaborative marital settlement agreements and beneficiary designations that achieve their goals.

For example, the couple may decide securing alimony or child support protects their family if the spouse owing support dies. Then, life insurance, trust provisions, or will provisions naming the ex-spouse as beneficiary may work for them.

That’s why the collaborative team’s going through the Beneficiary Designations Checklist may help the family develop options. As the team discusses options, they can consider how best to avoid automatic revocation statutes like Florida’s:

  1. Wills: Section 732.507, Florida Statutes;
  2. Revocable trusts: Section 736.1105, Florida Statutes;
  3. Life insurance, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), retirement plans, and pay on death accounts: Section 732.703, Florida Statutes.

Beneficiary Designations Checklist

  • Has the collaborating spouse named the other spouse as beneficiary under a will?
  • Is the spouse participating in an insurance policy or benefit plan section 732.703 affects?
  • Does the team have detail about beneficiary designations under the clients’ wills, insurance policies, and accounts?
  • Considering the couple’s goals, do they want to designate a soon-to-be former spouse as beneficiary, or to have an existing designation continue after divorce?
  • Are there benefits to override expressly “automatic revocation on divorce” statutes such as Sections 732.507(2), Florida Statutes and Section 732.703, Florida Statutes or similar law from other jurisdictions?
  • What language in a collaborative marital settlement agreement will require designating the other spouse or children as beneficiary?
  • Should the team specifically refer to automatic beneficiary revocation statute(s) such as sections 732.507(2) and 732.703, Florida Statutes? Should the settlement agreement state the clients intend to override that law? 
  • After divorce, what should the testator, insured, or account owner do to notify an employer of the divorce?
  • What should the agreement say for an ex-spouse to receive notice the other person has completed the required steps for the beneficiary designations?
  • Are there follow-up tasks the testator or policy or account owner should do to notify an employer’s human resources or employee benefits department of the divorce?

Collaborative Marital Settlement Agreements and Overriding Automatic Revocation

Florida favors settlement agreements. In this favorable environment, harnessing their power and freedom to contract, collaborating couples and their team may consider language for overriding Florida’s automatic revocation upon divorce.

For more information about Collaborative Divorce and beneficiary designations, contact Michael P. Sampson.

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