Answers to legal questions

posed by the general public to Memphis Attorney Christina Burdette

Q: Help after divorce and reconciliation.....

...My husband and I were married in 1983 then divorce in 2007. We reconciled in 2010. We can't remarry due to my credit history. We plan on staying together forever. He still has me as beneficiaries on insurance. Since I am not legally his spouse will there be an issue getting that money should he pass or become disabled? I No longer work and trying to get disability but what if something happens will I be able to pay funeral or other expenses? Also he received our home in the divorce so will I then be homeless? I have given up everything to come back home and want to be sure I can take care of him should anything ever happens.

A: Your former husband can protect you .... several ways. He can make you the beneficiary of any accounts that allow for a beneficiary designation. He can add you to his checking, savings, and any other bank accounts as a joint tenant with right of survivorship. He can cause to be prepared a quitclaim deed in which he transfers his entire interest in the home from himself back to himself and you as joint owners with right of survivorship. He can prepare a last will and testament naming you as beneficiary of all his assets (personal and real), or at the very least he can give you a life estate in the house. You really need to speak with an attorney about this. There may be tax consequences depending on the actions that your former husband takes. But even if you don't marry, there are things that your former husband can do to protect you and give you peace of mind.

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At The Burdette Law Firm we are competent, and caring lawyers and parents ourselves. When dealing with family law matters, and will provide excellent legal advice. We give our clients a great deal of information on family so they can have the proper understanding to make important legal decisions. Family law is an emotional process, and we always strive to ease the stress during this difficult situation.

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Christina Burdette