Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Reminds the Newly Divorced to Revisit Their Will

naperville estate planning attorney, will, divorceIf you have recently gone through a divorce, you have likely had to deal with countless challenges and obstacles. Even in the most amicable of 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, and a Naperville estate planning attorney can help make that happen.

Your Ex-Spouse is Automatically Out of the Will

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 Also

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. Similar to a will, 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 Naperville estate planning attorney. For more than three decades, Attorney Denice Gierach has been providing responsible legal counsel and representation to clients throughout the region. She and her team can help you edit your will to meet your needs or to draft an entirely new estate plan from top to bottom. Call 630-756-1160 today to schedule an appointment.

 

Sources:

Wall Street Journal

The Illinois General Assembly

Illinois General Assembly