The unpredictable nature of life often motivates us to plan ahead for any unplanned circumstances. Estate planning is a general term used to refer to everything you want to happen to your assets after your passing. Depending on how large your estate is, it can involve only a will or it may include powers of attorney, trusts, and more.

Estate plans are not only useful in the case of sudden death. A divorce or remarriage can drastically affect your estate plan; most especially your will.  Keep reading to find out how.

What Happens to My Will After a Divorce or Remarriage?

In Illinois, your will does not automatically become invalid because you are divorced. However, any benefit you may have assigned to your ex-spouse becomes invalid. Your ex-spouse will also not be allowed to be an executor of your estate or be involved in any sharing of your assets.

If you divorce your spouse, it is best to revise your will with the help of an experienced family law attorney. By revising your will, you can decide whether or not to give your ex-spouse access to your assets. Revising your will is also important in the case of a remarriage so as to include your new spouse in your will.

If your will is not revised before your demise, it remains valid. This means that though your ex-spouse will not be allowed to gain from your will, any extended family members included will be allowed to. Furthermore, a remarriage does not automatically entitle your new spouse to your assets if you have a will written already. A thorough revision of your will is key in including your spouse and excluding any other persons.

Asset Distribution During a Divorce

The courts have the power to decide what is fair in the distribution of assets during a divorce. In Illinois, you are not required to share your marital assets 50/50. Any property you or your spouse acquire before getting married is not considered to be marital property and thus, will not be shared.

There are several things the court will take into consideration when deciding how your assets will be shared during a divorce. One is the length of your marriage. If you have been married for a short period of time, the court is less likely to share the assets 50/50. Also, if you have been married for longer, the court will lean in favour of the spouse that earns less.

Your children, if any, also play a vital role in the distribution of assets. The courts are always concerned about the welfare of the children. This will influence the choice of the court in determining which spouse gets the bulk of the assets.

Navigating the revision of your estate plan after a dramatic change such as a divorce or a remarriage is rarely straightforward. Professionals exist to guide you in making the right choices.

The Law Offices of Carroll, Papp and Cunabaugh provide a range of legal services to businesses. We can help ensure smooth business operations for you and guarantee you have solid legal representation in case of any events. Explore our services here.