Divorce and estate planning

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Divorce and estate planning

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2019 | Firm News

Couples who are going through a divorce in Illinois have a lot to think about. There is the division of debt and assets, child custody decisions and living arrangements to figure out. Another important thing to update during this process is estate planning. Not doing so can lead to big issues in the future. 

According to Forbes, each spouse has certain rights during the divorce process, but there are things each one can do to retain control over certain aspects. If a spouse is the power of attorney over one’s estate, it is time to change that. This is especially the case if it is a durable power of attorney. Make sure to revoke this assignment and execute a new person to manage assets. 

It is also smart to update, or name, a health proxy in the event there is a medical emergency. If there is a revocable trust, now is the time to change it. Consider provisions set up for children, as well. 

Some estate planning changes cannot be made until the divorce is final. This includes beneficiaries for retirement plans, life insurance and pensions. 

It is also a good time to update each spouse’s will. FindLaw recommends reviewing it with a professional to see what changes to make. Many people name spouses as beneficiaries, so this is a common change newly divorced people make. 

It is also a good idea to name a guardian for the children if there is not one, or if a spouse prefers someone else. While the other parent will most likely get custody in the event of death, it is always good to have an alternative. 

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