Divorce affects every facet of one’s life, but many overlook estate planning post-divorce. What steps should be taken to ensure assets are protected after divorce?
While married, many people list their spouse as the executor of their estate in the event their spouse outlives them. After divorce, however, if the individual wishes to remove their ex-spouse as executor, it is necessary to create a new will.
Additionally, if one’s ex-spouse is named in the power of attorney agreement to act on behalf of the individual, he or she should consider revoking that power of attorney and establishing a new one.
Change of Beneficiaries
Many people also list their spouse as their beneficiary for matters such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. In order to protect separate assets after divorce, divorced individuals should adjust their beneficiaries so their ex-spouse is not listed.
Parents may consider assigning their children as beneficiaries, however, this process also entails additional considerations depending on the age of the children. For example, children under the age of 18 cannot legally inherit assets. In this situation, if a parent dies and their listed beneficiary is a minor, the court will appoint a guardian. This can be avoided if the parent prepares a revocable trust.
Establish a Trust
Forming a trust protects not only the children involved but the assets one wishes for them to receive at a designated age. With a revocable trust, a parent is able to name a trustee while still maintaining individual control over the assets included. Additionally, the assets in the trust cannot be accessed by an ex-spouse, protecting the interests of the parent and children involved.
Kogut & Wilson is an award-winning family law firm based in Chicago with extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of divorce and family law. Understanding the cases we work on are often sensitive, our team of trusted attorneys takes great care to provide personalized and effective approaches to meet clients’ everchanging needs, no matter the complexity.
Contact Kogut & Wilson, L.L.C. today to explore your options regarding divorce and estate planning.
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