But, it gets worse. Due to his hasty retreat from his first marriage and, in our opinion, an insufficiently attentive divorce attorney, many of the man’s legal documents had not been revised or updated. His life insurance policy which he had continued to pay on and even his will still listed his ex wife as his beneficiary.
Unrevised Wills, Estate Plans and Insurance Policies Can Have Unintended Consequences
Unfortunately, signing a divorce agreement is not always a clean legal break from an ex-spouse. There are all of the other legal, financial and even healthcare related documents that should be carefully examined to be sure that they reflect your current situation.
We often hear that wills and insurance policies and even powers of attorney are set up mostly to protect and provide for family members. These are the dictates that you set up when you are able to voice your preferences in the event that your situation changes and you are no longer to voice your wishes.
In many cases we find that our family law practice is further enhanced by our experience as estate planning attorneys in Belleville, IL, in that we are able to predict how the law may continue to affect your life even after a divorce has been settled.
You purchase insurance so that any wealth you may have accumulated will transfer on death to those you work hard to provide for. Important stores of value such as real estate, retirement accounts, living trusts, bank accounts and other assets should transfer seamlessly to those you intend to receive them if you are no longer able to provide for them. After a lifetime of hard work, saving and doing the right thing, it’s terrible that an omission or oversight might mean that your loved ones end up fighting a difficult, drawn out legal process in probate court that their financial survival depends upon. It’s not the way you would have wanted it.
However legal documents have the force of state laws to demand that the courts abide by them. That’s what they’re in place for – to make sure that your wishes as expressed in the legal documents signed by you are carried out exactly as expressed.
Review Legal Documents in 2022 With A Estate and Probate Attorney
Consider 2022 a new opportunity to review and revise your old documents such as wills, insurance policies, all types of trusts such as revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney. It is also a good time to discuss with your accountant or attorney the implications of estate taxes and how your current legacy might hold up to the probate process if you weren’t able to continue to direct your finances.
If you haven’t begun thinking about setting up these advanced directives, wills and insurance policies for the future of the ones you love, consider it now. If you have, now’s the time to be sure that your will and other legal documents truly reflect your wishes.
Contact an Estate and Probate Attorney in Belleville, IL
We at Wilson Dabler & Associates, LLC, can make it easy for you to review your important documents and ensure that those you care about are provided for. We begin the process by listening to your story and reviewing your important documents. We then help you craft a way to ensure that your lifetime of hard work continues to provide a caring legacy for those who are important to you.
Call us at: 618-235-1600 to schedule your document review.