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Getting Divorced? Do Not Forget About Your Estate Plan

 Posted on January 30, 2017 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerFor most couples, divorce is a difficult, time-consuming, and often expensive process. The considerations that accompany a divorce can seem almost endless, from determining who will keep which assets, how parental responsibilities will be divided, and whether spousal support is necessary. In the back of your mind, you probably realize that, at some point, you will need to update your will and other estate planning documents to address the property and obligations allocated to you during the divorce. But what if something were to happen to you before your divorce is finalized?

Your Estate Plan After Divorce

According to Illinois law, a divorce judgment will make certain changes to most estate planning documents in the event that a person dies before amending his or her estate plan. For example, if you named your spouse as the executor of your estate in your will and you pass away after your divorce has been finalized, the will shall be treated as if your spouse died before you. The same is true if your will left property to your former spouse, as well as if you appointed your spouse to be your power of attorney.

During the Divorce

It is not uncommon for complex divorce cases to take many months—years, in some cases—to be finalized. During that time, you and your spouse are still legally married to one another, which means the protective provisions in the law regarding divorce and estate planning will not apply. Thus, if you were to die before the process is completed, all of the terms of your existing estate plan would remain in force, which means your estranged spouse could receive a significant portion—if not all—of your estate.

What Can You Do?

You are free to make changes to your estate plan at any time you wish. There is no requirement for you to wait until your divorce is finalized. In fact, it may in your best interest to amend your estate plan soon after filing for divorce, keeping in mind that you may need to revisit it again once the judgment has been entered.

At A. Traub & Associates, our attorneys are fully equipped to help you with both your divorce and your estate plan. With our knowledge and skill, we can help you develop a plan for your future that accurately captures your wishes and desires. Contact one of our experienced Lombard estate planning attorneys and give your family the security they deserve.



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