The divorce rate has been falling in the United States for several decades. That being said, gray divorces—a divorce of older people (50+) after a long-term marriage—are on the rise. The Bowling Green State University (BGSU) reports that the rate of gray divorces have doubled since 1990.
While divorce is always complicated, gray divorce involves some unique consideration. Many things, including estate planning, must be considered. In this blog post, our Orland Park divorce lawyer highlights three key things to know about how a gray divorce can affect estate planning in Illinois.
A will is a foundational estate planning document. If you get divorced in Illinois, your will technically remains valid. However, any provisions involving your former spouse are automatically revoked. In other words, a final divorce decree in Illinois effectively takes your spouse out of your will unless you take action to specifically state otherwise.
Your will is not the only estate planning document that is automatically changed by a divorce in Illinois. Indeed, many other estate planning documents pertaining to your former spouse are automatically revoked upon a divorce. Among other things, these documents include:
Simply put, a finalized divorce in Illinois will take your spouse out of all of these estate planning documents. Imagine that you granted power of attorney to your spouse several years ago. If you get divorced in Illinois, that power of attorney document is automatically invalidated unless you take action stating otherwise.
Estate planning is vitally important, especially for people who are 50 years of age or older. Your estate plan should always be comprehensively reviewed and revised after a gray divorce. While Illinois law automatically invalidates many provisions relating to an ex spouse, your estate plan will still likely be out of date. Once your ex spouse has been invalidated from your estate planning documents, you will generally need to determine a suitable replacement.
At the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd, our Illinois divorce lawyers have the skills and experience to handle the unique issues in gray divorces. If you have any questions about gray divorce, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online to arrange your fully confidential case review. With our law office in Orland Park, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Cook County, Will County, Lake County, and Kendall County.
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Demetri is extremely knowledgeable and confident In what he does. He is everything I searched for in a lawyer, I thank him for his determination and courage. I don’t see many lawyers leveling up with him in court, wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by my side during such a tough time.
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In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Husband: Couple shared ownership in a business, resulting in complex property division issues. After investigation of the couple’s financial history, our client received a much more equitable divorce agreement than what was originally offered.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Mother: Father became aggressive and violent toward Mother during their separation, prompting her to seek full custody of their children. At trial, the court granted Father supervised parenting time only and Mother was awarded child support.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Husband: Couple had been locked in a contentious divorce for nearly three years and changed lawyers several times. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. provided the experience and organization needed to resolve the case within months, avoiding a trial for our client.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife: Wife left a successful career to raise children. When Husband denied spousal support based on Wife’s previous earnings, Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. countered with evidence that retraining was needed, and our client was awarded spousal support.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife: Husband tried to intimidate Wife into a divorce settlement that heavily favored his interests by drawing out the case. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife through trial, where she received an equitable share of marital assets.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Father: Mother began cohabitating with a new partner who made significantly more than our client. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. successfully demonstrated that the new relationship justified a modification and obtained a favorable outcome through negotiation.