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My husband and I have recently separated. Who is able to make changes to our Retirement and Trust Accounts?

Dear Maria,

I am sorry to hear of your situation. California is a community property state, meaning that most often
all assets acquired after marriage be split equally. In reference to retirement accounts, the account owner is
the only person who can make changes to the account. This is important to understand. Some companies may allow a change of beneficiary without the approval of the other spouse. If the account is in a ‘Joint’ name or under
a ‘Trust’ account that has both spouses listed as Trustees, EACH Trustee and or BOTH Joint owners are required to SIGN off on any changes. Please contact my office for more information at 858-756-0004.

Read more about understanding trusts in our related article.


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This is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor.