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Reviewing Your Will After Your Divorce

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysIf you have recently gone through a divorce, you probably experienced a number of challenges and obstacles. Even if in the best situations, it can be very stressful to negotiate the various aspects of a divorce agreement, including the division of marital assets and spousal maintenance. Couples with minor children often have even more to worry about. Now that your divorce is finalized, however, it is probably time to take another look at your estate plan, as the new dynamic of your life should be reflected in your will and other planning documents.

Your Ex is Out by Law

A will is, in most cases, a very durable instrument that will withstand a variety of life changes and other contractual obligations. One of the few exceptions, however, is that a divorce or dissolution of marriage, by law, essentially eliminates your ex-spouse from any will created before the marriage ended. According the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, a will executed prior to the dissolution of marriage “takes effect in the same manner as if the former spouse had died before the testator.”

This means, of course, that your ex-spouse is not entitled to any of the property you had intended for him or her to receive upon your death. On the other hand, depending upon the specificity of your existing will, it may be a little unclear what will happen now with that property. In fact, your entire will may need to be revamped to adjust for the serious life changes.

Review Other Planning Tools Too

Your will is not the only estate planning document that will need to be revisited after divorce. You will probably also need to consider making changes to powers of attorney, existing trusts, and life insurance policies to ensure the responsibilities and benefits are allocated to better address your changed situation. As with a willl, a power of attorney is automatically affected by a judgment of divorce, so you will need to appoint a new agent.

Work With a Qualified Professional

When life changes like divorce or the death of a close loved one make an estate plan review necessary, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Lombard estate planning lawyer. The team at A. Traub & Associates is equipped to help you make the appropriate changes so that you can regain the security and peace of mind that you deserve. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/after-divorce-separate-your-estate-plans-too-1424450517

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+IV&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=5300000&SeqEnd=6750000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2113&ChapterID=60

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