Getting Remarried Should Trigger an Update to Your Estate Plan

DuPage County estate planning lawyersLove might have failed you before, but the fact that you are planning on getting remarried proves you have not abandoned all hope. Just do not let that cloud your judgement when it comes to updating your estate plan. Do not have one yet? You are certainly not alone, but this can be problematic for more reasons than one. The following explains further, and provides some guidance on estate planning matters you may want to consider before or immediately after you walk down the aisle.

No Will? You Might Have a Problem

Some blended families just do not blend. Others manage to get along fairly well, but tensions may mount if you pass away without a will. You see, without a will, your estate will be divided up according to Illinois state law. This essentially means that your spouse would receive half of your estate, and that your children would have to split the remaining half. Even more troubling is that this law does not address issues involving family heirlooms or other items you may not want sold. Instead, your family will be left to battle it out, which could take several months, possibly even years. Thankfully, a will can and often does eliminate a great deal of the potential discourse.

Making Updates to an Existing Will

If you already have a will, you are already one step ahead of most. Still, an update is generally necessary when remarrying. Your beneficiaries likely need to be updated to ensure the parties you wish to have inherit your assets and/or tangible property are the ones that are actually listed. You might also want to take a look at your power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives to ensure that the person you want in charge is, in fact, listed.

Also, do not forget to update any life insurance policies and retirement accounts to reflect what is in your will. Otherwise, portions of your will may not matter. For example, if your ex-spouse is still listed as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, it is likely they will receive the money instead of your current spouse. You should also review any titled assets you may own to avoid conflicts in titling and joint tenancy laws, which can also nullify any wishes expressed in a will.

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

If you are getting remarried and need assistance crafting or updating a will, our DuPage County estate planning lawyers can help. Dedicated to ensuring your wishes are carried out upon your death, we have the skills and knowledge needed to creatively address any will or trust issues you and your loved ones may face. Schedule your consultation with Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC to learn more. Call 630-665-2500 today.



Living Wills become More Popular in Estate Planning Choices

Many people are under the misconception that estate planning is only for the rich and the elderly. In estate planning, an estate is not a large mansion, but it is actually everything a person owns when they die. Personal property, bank accounts, their home or other property, digital information, stocks, retirement plans, and business ownership all fall under the domain of a person's estate.

Whether wealthy or not, everyone should have a will or living trust to clearly spell out your wishes in the event of your death. A living trust, also referred to as a living will, is becoming a more and more popular choice in estate planning, especially as it avoids the probate process a will is required to go through to determine its validity.

In a living will, you determine who the trustee or the trustees are and who the beneficiaries will be. Check with your attorney to see if you and your spouse should also be on the list of trustees, as this will enable you to maintain complete control of your assets while you are still alive.

Like a will, a living will allows you to clearly spell out which of your assets goes to whom and how those assets should be handed out. For example, you may not want a young adult to suddenly inherit a large sum of money so your instructions could include the assets be portioned out over a period of time.

An attorney can help you decide if a will or a living will is the right choice for you based on your assets and the size of your estate. Whether a large or not so large estate, the basic questions for estate planning are the same.

  • Who are the loved ones you want to provide for?
  • What assets will you have to gift to your beneficiaries when you die?
  • What will your liabilities (i.e. debts) be?
  • When do you want your beneficiaries to receive your gifts (i.e. minor children)?

If you have questions on whether or not a will or living will is right for you, contact a qualified DuPage County estate planning attorney today to help decide which are offer the best options.