If you are going through a divorce you have many legal documents that must be completed. There are also some legal documents that should be updated if you’re going through a divorce – even if they are not legally required to get a divorce. Under Illinois law, if you get a divorce and you have a valid will, that will remains valid until you legally update it. If you die before your divorce is finalized and have not updated your will, your current will is legally valid. Here are 3 estate planning tips if you are getting a divorce.
1. Update Your Will
Most likely your spouse is a named beneficiary in your will. Many states prohibit changing your beneficiaries before a divorce is finalized. In Illinois, you can make changes to your will while going through your divorce. Your estate planning attorney can provide guidance on what changes you can make to your will while you are going through a divorce including:
• Do you want your current spouse to inherit your assets?
• Is your spouse the executor of your will?
• Do you have a guardian named if something happens to you or your spouse?
Execute a new will if it is allowed in your state.
2. Decide If Your Spouse Will Be A Beneficiary
After your divorce is finalized, do you want your current spouse to remain a beneficiary on your will and:
• retirement plan
• IRA savings account
• life insurance policies
• other financial assets
Do you have children who you want to protect or property you want your children or spouse to inherit? Rethink your beneficiaries during and after your divorce to ensure your spouse inherits what you intend them to inherit.
3. Update Your Health Care POA
Do you want your current spouse to make your health care decisions? A health care power of attorney or proxy identifies who you want to make your health care decisions in the event you are injured or incapacitated. If you are going through a divorce, you may want to update your health care POA and advance healthcare directives to someone other than your spouse.
After your divorce is finalized, you should meet again with your estate planning attorney to review the best options to protect you and your family’s new circumstances.
If you are considering divorce, we can help. An estate planning attorney is an important part of your divorce team. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois today at 630-864-5835.