Updating Your Will After a Divorce

After a divorce there are many legal issues that you must address. While most people think about such things as changing their address and possibly changing their name on legal documents, many do not think about changing their will. Changing or updating your will may be an important thing to consider.

 

Protecting Your Family

 

While you were married, any legal documents concerning your assets may have named your spouse as the main beneficiary. This includes your last will. It’s also not uncommon for people to name their spouse as the administrator of their will. Now that you are divorced, you may not wish your ex-spouse to inherit your assets or be in charge of their distribution after your passing.

 

Additionally, if you have minor children, it will be very important to establish guidelines for their care in your new will. This is especially important if you have sole custody of your children. This is a very important issue that you should discuss with your attorney while you are preparing your new Will.

 

Health Care Advocate, Power of Attorney, and Similar Documents

 

As a single adult, there are several important legal documents that you should have in place to protect yourself as well as your family.

  1. Health care advocate. This legal document establishes a personal representative to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so.
  2. A power of attorney. In the event that you cannot make financial decisions on your own, your designated advocate with power of attorney can make these decisions for you. This ensures that your family is cared for and your bills are paid. These powers can be granted for limited power or full power over your finances and only go into effect under certain circumstances such as death or extreme illness.

 

There may be additional types of paperwork that you should have to protect yourself and your family. An estate planning attorney can provide you with more detailed information based on state laws and the circumstances of your family.

 

Additional Considerations

 

You will need to review all areas of your finances after you have divorced. Make sure that you check your retirement and investment accounts to see who the designated beneficiary is and make the necessary changes. You will also want to check any similar financial accounts that may have this type of designation.

 

Review your security deposits on rentals and utility bills. Many people still have deposits that are in their former spouse’s name. Verify that your spouse has been removed from any and all lines of credit.

 

Work with Your Attorney

 

When you are starting a new life as a single individual, it is important to plan for the future. Work with your skilled estate planning or Peoria IL probate attorney relies on to make sure that you and your family are protected by having a legally recognized will.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their insight into updating a will after a divorce.

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