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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.

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Lombard family law attorneyPeople tend to forget or overlook things when they divorce. Dotting every proverbial “i” and crossing every proverbial “t” can be a difficult endeavor, especially when there are children involved. One of the most commonly overlooked issues—especially if a divorce is complex or acrimonious—is estate planning. Updating or re-drafting documents like wills and trusts can make all the difference in ensuring that your assets go to those who you have expressly chosen.

Make a New Will or Trust

Illinois probate law can be quite complex, particularly if you are trying to modify an existing document. This is made even more confusing by the fact that Illinois law, upon divorce, revokes any gifts or positions of authority given to an ex-spouse. For example, if you named your now-former husband as the executor of your estate, that designation will be void upon your divorce. Sometimes this can be advantageous, but in certain cases, you may want to keep your ex-spouse in the will. Doing so may be beneficial in situations where young children are involved as potential beneficiaries.

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Posted on in Divorce

after a divorce, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneysAfter a divorce is finalized you can feel worn out. Even when a divorce was amicable, the emotions involved can take a toll. But, after you receive the final paperwork from the court, you still have a few things to set in order. Failure to make a few changes to your estate planning documents, taxes, and retirement accounts now could have disastrous consequences later.

Estate Planning

Often, spouses list each other as the beneficiary on a variety of documents without even thinking about it. After you are divorced, you need to go and make sure all those beneficiary designations are changed from your now ex-spouse to someone else.

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