When you are ending your marriage, you have a lot to deal with, such as your divorce case in family court. While it might be difficult to add something else to your plate, you should consider whether your estate plan should be amended. If you have an existing estate plan, it is likely you will want to make some changes to protect your interests.
Wills and Trusts
Illinois law treats a divorced spouse as someone who predeceased you for the purposes of wills and trusts. This means that provisions benefiting your ex-spouse will automatically become invalid. However, this only happens when the divorce is final. If something happens to you during the divorce process and before the judgment, your soon-to-be-ex will still receive whatever property you left them in your will or trust. This means you should update these documents as soon as you know divorce is in your future. If you have a joint trust, you should revoke it and create a new one on your own.
Other documents do no automatically update and discount an ex-spouse, so you need to manually amend them. Such documents include:
- Powers of attorney for finances and healthcare
- Beneficiary accounts, including life insurance policies and retirement accounts
You might have other important documents that need to be updated, and you should discuss these with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Illinois.
Discuss Your Situation with an Experienced Estate Planning and Family Lawyer in Illinois
At Charles Newland & Associates, we handle both divorce cases and estate planning matters, and we understand what might need to be updated if your marriage comes to an end. Whether you need assistance with a divorce, need to create an estate plan, or both, please call 847.797.9300 or contact us online to speak with our firm today.