January is known as “divorce month” because of a spike in divorce and separation filings that occur in the early part of every year. Many parents want to protect their children from divorce and believe that waiting until January avoids spoiling the Christmas holidays for their children. If your goal is to protect your children during your divorce, you should review and potentially revise your will during divorce or if you are legally separated.
Divorce impacts many aspects of your life, including your finances. A will is not only for determining who will inherit your assets after your death: a will also specifies how you want to handle things such as emergency medical situations, end-of-life care, and your preferred burial and funeral arrangements. In addition, a will should state who you want to name as a guardian for your minor children, and other childcare wishes you have.
If you are considering a divorce and do not have a will, it is vital that you execute a legal will immediately to protect the future of your minor children. A will specifies the guardianship of minor children. Additionally, it may name a person or persons who will make decisions about the management of any assets left to underage children. This may include how a trust is to be established and operated for beneficiaries, and how funds within it may be used.
If something happens to you before your divorce is finalized and you have not updated your will, your current will remains valid. The probate court will not know what your intentions were for after your divorce, the court only knows what you stated in your legally executed will. Whether you are a high-net-worth couple who wants to ensure your assets do not go to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, someone with an average income and assets, your will should be updated during your divorce process, and again after your divorce is finalized.
Illinois Law On Revising Your Will During Divorce
Illinois law allows you to revise your will during your divorce. Under Illinois law, if you get divorced with a valid will in place, your will remains valid even though you are legally divorced from your ex-spouse. State laws vary on changing the conditions of your will before a divorce is finalized, so be sure to consult your divorce attorney to make sure your actions are legal in your state.
Read 3 Estate Planning Must-Dos If You’re Getting a Divorce if you’re considering divorce or are in the process of getting a divorce. 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.
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 630-800-0112.