Trust beneficiary while separated vs divorced


#1

Erin - I continue to be appreciative of your opinions and suggestions, and yet more questions…

I would like to create a trust that ONLY has my 2 children (each one 50/50) as 100% beneficiaries and explicitly exclude my wife. During the remaining 9 months of our 12 month separation, am I required to have my wife listed as 50% beneficiary since we are not officially divorced yet? I have heard differing opinions on the recognition of being separated vs divorced, what is yours?

I would like to change the beneficiary on my recently acquired term life insurance policy to the trust, change my pre-marital bank accounts to the trust and pre-marital property titles into the trust. Are there any problems or concerns that this may bring to our ED and/or CS? (FYI - We are skipping alimony & PSS - due to her affair and my current unemployment status.)

I assume all joint accounts (IRA, 401K, check, savings) accounts will be required to remain in trust that has my wife listed as 50% beneficiary until ED is completed. Is this correct or is there other options I should consider?

Thanks again,
Felix


#2

You are not required to list your wife, however unless you have a separation agreement with a waiver of estate rights and you die prior to divorce, she can make a claim against your estate.

The same goes for your joint accounts, unless you have an Agreement and your wife signs the proper beneficiary designation release forms you cannot remove your wife as beneficiary until divorce.