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Updating Wills and Estate Plans Post-Divorce

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a significant life event that prompts many changes, both emotionally and legally. One crucial element that should not be overlooked is updating your will and estate plan. After an Illinois divorce, your previous arrangements may not reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Engaging your divorce attorney’s help can ensure that all necessary changes are made to protect your assets and properly provide for your loved ones.

Why Updating Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce is Essential

Divorce means that the relationships and circumstances considered when drafting the original will and estate plan have likely changed. It is important to update these documents to reflect what your current wishes are. For example, if your ex-spouse was named as a beneficiary or executor, you might want to remove or replace them with 

someone who better aligns with your post-divorce life.

Avoiding Unintended Consequences

Failing to update your estate plan can result in unintended consequences, such as an ex-spouse inheriting assets or making decisions on your behalf contrary to your current intentions. Outdated documents can lead to legal disputes among family members and beneficiaries, causing unnecessary stress and potential courtroom battles.

Key Estate Planning Components to Update Post-Divorce

Review and update the beneficiaries listed in your final will and testament. Ensure that the people who will inherit your assets reflect your current wishes. Also, suppose your ex-spouse was originally appointed as an executor. In that case, you will likely want to select a new person that you trust and who can carry out your final wishes accurately.

If your ex-spouse was designated as your power of attorney, replace them with someone who will act in your best interest regarding medical and financial decisions. Furthermore, ensure your living will reflect your current wishes, especially if your healthcare preferences have changed since the divorce.

Additional Estate Planning Documents You May Consider Changing

When it comes to revocable and irrevocable trusts, you will likely want to update the beneficiaries and trustees of any trusts you have established. This is especially true if your ex-spouse was involved in these documents.

You should also review arrangements made for any minor children and update them as needed to make certain your children will be adequately provided for. For example, if your current estate plan discusses guardianship preferences for your children, review these and make sure everything in the documents still aligns with your wishes. If certain aspects do not align, consider making changes.

Contact Our DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney for a Private Consultation

Your divorce attorney possesses knowledge of matrimonial law that will be invaluable as you navigate this process. Having worked with numerous clients before, your attorney will understand how to advise you best regarding your divorce and its effect on your estate plan. Contact the Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about how we can help. Call 630-462-9500 for a private consultation.

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