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What should you change about your estate plan during a divorce?

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Nothing is constant in life except for taxes and death, as the saying goes. Like many other Illinois residents, you may have already taken care of your tax and inheritance matters by creating an estate plan. However, what happens if you get a divorce?

As you may already know, it is important to update your will, trust and other estate planning elements if you have a significant life change, such as a marriage, the birth of a child or the wish to add or disinherit someone. A divorce can be especially challenging when it comes to changing your estate plan. Rather than waiting for your divorce to be final, there are numerous things you should do during the divorce process to protect your estate planning interests, explains Forbes. The following are some good examples:

  • Find out what the state requires you to leave your spouse and decide if you want to leave him or her the legal requirement or disinherit your spouse – which can result in an inheritance dispute.
  • You might not want your spouse to represent your health care needs if you are incapacitated, so update your health care proxy.
  • Remove your spouse as the executor of your will.
  • Change your power of attorney so in the event you are incapacitated, your spouse does not have access to assets that belong solely to you.
  • Name an alternate guardian for your children if both you and your spouse die before the divorce is final, since your guardianship choice may be different now.

 You will want to look over your estate plan again after your divorce is final. Since this can be a complex topic, this information is not intended as legal advice.

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