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4 changes to make to your estate plan after divorce

Divorce is widely recognized as one of the most stressful events a person can go through, as is the death of a loved one. Death and divorce are both topics that can be incredibly difficult to discuss, but they both have a considerable legal impact on our loved ones. Because of this, it is important that people have in place tools like estate plans that are updated in light of events like divorce.

As this FindLaw article states, some states automatically revoke or invalidate elements of an estate plan that involve an ex, though this is not always the case. In order to be sure that your estate planning documents reflect your current situation and relationships, it can be crucial that you consider making some of the following changes to your estate plan if you are getting divorced.

  1. Update powers of attorney. Chances are, you don't want your ex making financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Create new financial and medical powers of attorney to appoint a new person or people to these roles.
  2. Change your will. This can involve redistributing property to people other than your ex or your ex's family, updating assets to reflect property division in divorce and ensure you update plans for what will happen to your children if you are the primary caregiver.
  3. Create your own estate plan. If you relied on your ex's plan to cover you both while you were married, then it is time to get one of your own. 
  4. Remove your ex as beneficiary from trusts, retirement plans and life insurance policies. Failure to do so could mean that your ex stands to collect money that you intended to go to someone else.

These changes can have an enormous impact on how your estate is administered, so it is crucial that you do not overlook them.

We know that this can seem overwhelming in the aftermath of a divorce. However, with the help of an attorney experienced in both estate planning and family law in Illinois, you can make sure all your legal bases are covered.

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