Transferring Personal Property Between Spouses – financial instruments
When personal property is awarded to one spouse in a divorce decree, the answer is not always as simple as handing that property over to your former spouse and walking away. Perhaps the property in question is in your name only, or in the names of both spouses. Maybe the property has a lien against it.
Clearly, additional steps must be taken to have a clear transfer of ownership.
So how do you do that, exactly? What are the steps? The short answer is it depends on the property type. Over the next several articles, we will dive into what it takes to transfer personal property between spouses, focusing on the following:
Today’s blog will only discuss the transfer of financial instruments between spouses. We could have put it all into one blog, but I’d rather provide these tips in a more digestible form and allow readers to focus on one at a time.
Please check back for more blogs covering the remaining property types.
Transferring financial instruments
When talking about financial instruments, most people immediately think in terms of bank accounts. But there are other instruments such as negotiable notes and annuities to consider. Below is a breakdown of how to transfer ownership for each one.
- Bank accounts – To transfer ownership of a bank account, you must provide a copy of the divorce decree to the financial institution where the account is located. You will likely have to fill out additional paperwork that the bank requires, as most banks these days have created transfer documents specifically for marital dissolution. This is often the quickest and least expensive way to divide bank accounts. Another method is you could have the financial institution close the joint account and transfer each spouse’s portion of the money into two new accounts.
- Negotiable notes – To make this transfer of ownership, such as with a promissory note, the spouse who is the payee under the note (the one with right to receive payment) can endorse the note and give it to the other spouse.
- Annuities – Similar to the process for bank account ownership transfers, you must provide a copy of the divorce decree and sign any ownership transfer documents that are required by the financial institution. This is for all annuities except those related to a qualified retirement plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Account.
Was this blog helpful? Please don’t hesitate to check our blog archive for more information on this topic or any others that might interest you. And if you would like us to discuss a particular family law topic in these blogs, please contact our Nelson Law Group, PC office to let us know. We will be glad to help you.
Source: Nelson Law Group