Key Estate Planning Considerations for Anyone Getting Divorced

naperville estate planning lawyerIf you are in the middle of a divorce or thinking about ending your marriage, make sure you understand how to update your estate plans to reflect your new marital status. Divorce can be very overwhelming, and it is not uncommon for people to neglect crucial estate planning concerns during and after their divorce.

Update Your Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Finances

A power of attorney is a legal tool used to designate an individual who has the authority to make decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney for health care has the authority to make decisions about the types of medical care you receive if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate. A power of attorney for finances handles financial issues on your behalf. 

Most people designate their spouse as their power of attorney agent. You may understandably wish to change this if your soon-to-be-ex is currently listed as your power of attorney agent.

Double-Check Your Beneficiary Designations on Insurance Policies and Retirement Accounts

Many people completely forget to update their beneficiary designations upon divorce. Is your spouse listed as your main beneficiary on your retirement accounts or insurance plans? Are any of his or her family members listed? If so, this is another crucial aspect to consider if you are getting divorced. 

There is no rule that says you must change your beneficiary designations upon divorce, but if your family dynamic has changed, it is likely that you need to take a look at these and ensure they still reflect your current wishes.

Asset Distribution and Guardianship in Your Will

If you already have a last will and testament, it will need to be updated to reflect divorce, remarriage, new additions to the family, deaths in the family, and any other substantial changes. For example, you may wish to change who certain assets are left to or ensure that special family heirlooms do not go to your ex. If you have listed a guardian for minor children, make sure the designated guardian is still somebody that you want raising your children if you and your child’s other parent pass away.

If you are getting divorced and you do not currently have a will, power of attorney, or other estate planning tools in place, now is the time to consider setting up an estate plan. Contrary to what many believe, estate planning is not only necessary for wealthy people. Anyone of any age or income can benefit from estate planning. If something happens to you, it is crucial that you have legal documents in place that reflect your wishes.

Call Our Naperville Estate Planning Lawyers for Help

The Naperville estate planning lawyers at the Gierach Law Firm can help you set up an estate plan for the first time or adjust your existing plans to match your new family dynamic. Call us today at (630) 756-1160 or contact us online to schedule a private consultation.


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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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