Imagine a predicament in which the divorce agreement provides that the husband gets 50 percent of the joint checking and brokerage accounts, and he dies before the parties divide those accounts. The ex-wife, who waived her right to 50 percent of those assets in the divorce, may have a right to 100 percent of that property. In most states, there is no statute that revokes joint accounts upon divorce. While there may be relief in an equitable action, the situation just became a whole lot more expensive. What’s the takeaway here? Lawyers should draft follow-up letters to clients reminding them to close all accounts.
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