If you have recently gotten divorced or maybe are in the process of a divorce, you will want to have a good understanding of what power your divorce decree will ultimately have. Certainly this document may be essential for you in many ways but it alone does not prevent your former spouse from inheriting your 401K account after you die, for example.
As explained by Forbes, the power of a divorce decree does not extend to cutting off your former spouse from any other rights you may have granted through other legal documents or means. If you have identified your spouse as the beneficiary on your retirement account, they are the person who will receive the assets after you die unless you change that beneficiary designation. The same holds true for life insurance policies or other accounts on which you name beneficiaries.
If you have a trust or a will where your former spouse was the trustee or executor, these documents also may require an update after your divorce is final. You may also want to review any existing powers of attorney or documents providing power for your former spouse to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so on your own.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give newly divorced people in Pennsylvania an idea of how they may take steps to protect their assets from falling into the hands of their former spouses unintentionally.