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Review investment accounts before divorce proceedings

When going through a high-asset divorce, many spouses forget to consider the impact dividing retirement accounts will have on their future financial goals and lifestyle. Couples getting divorced in Arizona need to think about the ways their financial goals may change once their divorce is finalized, including what will happen to their retirement funds.

While many spouses may think it would just be easier to split their retirement accounts in half, this may not be the best option for many spouses. Instead, spouses need to think about the value of each retirement account and investment account they own before determining how it will be divided.

Spouses with high-asset retirement accounts and investment accounts should consider taking the following steps when evaluating their accounts before asset division proceedings start to ensure they are creating the best financial future for life after divorce:

  1. What assets do you share and what assets are separate? This is an important distinction and can impact how your assets will be divided. Understanding what accounts you own and their value is vital because some accounts will be worth  more than others, and you won’t want to let your ex take the accounts that have a higher value unless you are getting something in return of equal value.
  2. Should you transfer retirement assets? Some couples decide to transfer some retirement assets from one spouse to the other. If you do this, there may be specific guidelines to follow as well as additional documents to have so be aware of what transferring retirement assets will entail before agreeing to it.
  3. Do I have to update/change beneficiaries on accounts? Yes. This is a common mistake that come back to bite you. Be sure to update the beneficiaries on your employee benefits as well as life insurance, estate plans and other investments to make sure they are up-to-date.

Understanding what steps to take to create a better financial future for yourself may seem difficult right now, but it will be very beneficial in the long-run and you will thank yourself later for thinking about these financial issues now before it’s too late.

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