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What if you do not update your will after your divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Divorce |

The immediate aftermath of your divorce proceedings in Illinois can be a hectic time. The work that goes into transitioning into your post-divorce life may cause you to overlook certain elements that the end of your marriage impacts. One of these is your estate plans. People (especially younger adults) tend to place estate concerns in the back of their minds anyway, so one might understand you initially not addressing them.

However, had you already created an estate plan prior to your divorce, your new marital status will almost certainly influence your opinions regarding who you want to inherit your estate. Yet what if something happens to you prior to amending your will.

The effect of divorce on an estate

You might assume that in such a situation, your ex-spouse still stands to benefit from your estate. Yet that is not the case. According to statutory information shared by the Illinois General Assembly, your divorce invalidates any of the following provisions of your will related to your ex-spouse:

  • Any dispositions of property or assets
  • Any powers of appointment
  • Any nominations to fiduciary roles in the administration of your estate

As the law goes on to state, from a legal perspective, it would be as if your ex-spouse preceded you in death. Therefore, the fear of them inadvertently inheriting your estate has no merit.

Should your ex-spouse still have a role?

Yet prior to completely writing them out of your estate plans, you may want to consider whether there still might be a legitimate role for your spouse in your estate. You may, for example, want to consider naming them as a trustee over any assets left to the children you share together until the kids reach the age of majority (with the assumption that your ex-spouse also had the kids’ best interests in mind.