Estate Planning Lawyer – Inverness, IL
Transitioning from married life to single life is rarely easy or straightforward. Couples married for any significant length of time tend to have intertwined financial lives, social lives, and home lives. Untangling these attachments and sorting out “what happens next” can be a daunting reality. Thankfully, an experienced family law attorney should be able to advise you regarding the legal side of this phase of life. For example, it is important to update certain accounts and documentation in the wake of divorce. Failure to do so could result in a host of negative consequences. As a result, it is important to contact an experienced Inverness, Illinois estate planning lawyer as soon as you can following your decision to divorce. Whether you have an existing estate plan that needs to be updated or creating an estate plan is an update you need to make in and of itself, the team at Bott & Associates can help.
While it may be tempting to update your accounts while your divorce is still pending, it is important to speak with your Inverness, IL estate planning lawyer before taking this action. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, it may be seen as manipulative or even considered contempt to block your spouse’s access to joint accounts until all property division issues have been resolved. If you are in doubt as to whether or not to separate an account before your divorce is finalized, it is generally a good idea to wait.
Once your divorce has been finalized (or you have received a green light from your Inverness, IL estate planning lawyer to proceed while your divorce remains pending) it is important to ensure that all financial and insurance accounts are updated to reflect your new marital status. If your former spouse remains a joint account holder, he or she can continue to initiate activity on any given account. Similarly, if your former spouse remains a beneficiary on any insurance or retirement policies, he or she will be able to collect upon them in the event of your death or another qualifying event. Finally, if your former spouse remains on certain joint accounts and runs up debt, you can be held liable for those debts. If your former spouse’s name is on an account, please update that account promptly. For obvious reasons, similar care should also be taken with online and social media accounts.
Updating Other Important Documentation
Have you updated the post office of any change in address that may affect you or your former spouse? Have you informed any institution you owe a debt to that you are no longer married? Does your health insurer know about your divorce? Does your estate plan reflect your post-divorce wishes and preferences? If a legally-binding document does not reflect your current marital status and could be impacted by your divorce, please speak with your Inverness, IL estate planning lawyer about necessary updates.
Divorce Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about documentation affected by your divorce process, please consider connecting with an experienced Inverness, IL estate planning lawyer. Too often, individuals only seek out legal guidance when they find themselves in trouble. In reality, experienced legal counsel can prove valuable at virtually every stage of life. You do not need to wait until your financial situation is unmanageable or you have experienced legal hardship to benefit from an attorney’s counsel. Please consider speaking with a lawyer any time you have legal questions. Most attorneys are more than happy to speak with you about any relevant legal concern you may have.