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Essential estate planning steps to take after getting a divorce

When life throws curveballs, ensuring that your estate plan reflects any significant changes can help your arrangements function properly. A divorce is one life event that may warrant some alterations to your existing plan.

In Illinois, this transition period offers a pivotal moment to safeguard your legacy and ensure that your assets align with your renewed vision for the future. Once you receive your divorce decree, here are some estate planning tasks to undertake as soon as possible.

Revise your will

Your will is the cornerstone of your entire plan. Illinois law automatically revokes any provisions favoring a former spouse upon divorce. However, it is still a good idea to reassess and amend your will to see that it reflects your circumstances.

Update trust documents

If your estate plan contains a revocable living trust, you may want to modify its terms, removing your ex as a beneficiary or trustee. Overlooking this task means your ex may benefit from your estate upon your passing.

Reconsider powers of attorney

Having a health care power of attorney and for property and finances is wise. This helps ensure that your finances are not neglected and medical wishes honored if you become seriously injured or ill. If you have these documents and they bestow authority on your ex, you’ll likely want to consider updating them. This can be done prior to the finalization of your divorce.

Other beneficiary designations

Assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts require beneficiary designations. Post-divorce, look over your accounts and policies to ensure they reflect your current wishes, removing your ex-spouse in favor of other beneficiaries.

Estate planning amid and following divorce involves legal intricacies and possible emotional challenges. Have experienced estate planning guidance can help you through this complex process.

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