Get Your Questions Answered - Call Me for a Phone Consultation (312) 772-3346

Get Your Questions Answered - Call Me for a Phone Consultation (312) 772-3346

The Importance Of Updating Estate Planning Documents After Major Life Events

In this article, you will learn…

  • Which documents need to be revisited and revised after divorce.
  • What changes to make after having a child.
  • How to avoid estate planning indiscretions.
  • And more!

What Are Some Estate Planning Documents That Need To Be Updated Once A Couple Has Divorced In Illinois?

After a divorce in Illinois, your will, your trust, and your powers of attorney should be updated.

Oftentimes in wills, one spouse names the other spouse as the executor of their estate. If you get divorced, you’re not likely to want that person to come in and distribute your assets. The same goes for a trust; you wouldn’t want your ex-spouse to be your trustee to execute it as stated. As such, clients are regularly advised to review their information and make those determinations after any major life events such as divorce.

Additionally, marriage makes the other partner the recipient of your estate. Even if you divorce this person, without the proper beneficiary designations in place, they could be granted 50% or more of your assets when you pass away.

Regarding the power of attorney, spouses often elect each other as they are likely to come to the hospital or be the ones paying bills in the event that one becomes injured or incapacitated. All of those documents, (as well as any other account that entails beneficiary designation), must be reviewed if the couple separates.

Usually, a spouse will make the other spouse the beneficiary of accounts such as a retirement, bank, life insurance, and/or investment accounts. Any of those accounts where you’ve already listed a beneficiary designation should be reviewed and changed as needed. Life insurance policies are particularly crucial to address because changes cannot be made postmortem.

If nothing else, make sure that any accounts that have beneficiary designation set as your former spouse are changed immediately after you get divorced.

What Changes Need To Be Made To An Estate Plan After Having A Child?

After having a child, one of the most important things that parents can do is designate a person or a couple to care for your child if something were to happen. Should an unfortunate accident or situation occur where both parents are incapacitated, there’s no guarduan who can legally care for the child (or children) without an estate plan.

The other thing to consider after having a child is updating beneficiary designations or other accounts that were previously left to someone else.

Finally, and most importantly: You need to actually add into your planning documents that you now have children. In any estate planning involving wills or trusts, there will be a paragraph that indicates relationship and child status. (E.g. I’m a widow, I am single, I’m single with no children, etc.)

If your estate plan dictates that you are single with no children and you pass away after having a child, it becomes the burden of the child to show that you are their parent. This can be problematic for them when it comes to inheriting assets from your estate. So, make sure that you list that you now have a child, the child’s name, and the date of birth so that there are no issues or concerns later.

For more information on Changes To An Estate Plan After A Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (312) 772-3346 today.

Get Your Questions Answered - Call Me for a Phone Consultation - (312) 772-3346

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