Today I’d like to pass along a story I heard recently that unfortunately might hit a little bit too close to home for anyone who has had a contentious divorce or dealt with family drama at one point or another in their marriage. It’s also a reminder to pay attention to the details, because a little bit of incomplete paperwork can cost you dearly.
In this situation, a recently divorced man made the mistake of forgetting to change his address for his 401k statements. There must have been some hard feelings there, because his ex-wife took advantage of the oversight and was subsequently able to use that paperwork to change the access codes and withdraw his money. By the time he realized what had happened, it was too late. As a last-ditch effort, he tried to sue the 401k provider for allowing her to take these actions (which were clearly immoral, even if they weren’t illegal), but the likelihood is that he will probably lose the case because fundamentally it was his responsibility, not his provider’s, to keep his address up to date.
Now, the lesson that this gentleman learned the hard way is to keep your address current so that your financial statements so they can’t be tampered with. Regardless of your own personal circumstances, these are the kinds of things that can happen when we aren’t conscientious about personal information and keeping our financial accounts protected and updated. So don’t forget to change that address!