With the rise of “gray divorce” in Illinois and across the country, a growing number of people are not only choosing to divorce later in life; they are also opting to remarry. When making the decision to marry again, it is important to consider your estate plan during the process. Without making changes to your will, trusts or other estate documents when remarrying, you could wind up making decisions that lead to unintended consequences and complications later.

Protecting your spouse and children

If you remarry later in life, you are likely to already have a will or other estate document in place. However, if you pass away before making changes to reflect your current situation, you may wind up unintentionally disinheriting your new spouse or forcing them to leave your shared home. At the same time, if you update your estate documents to leave everything to your spouse, your children from a prior relationship may wind up losing out. You might avoid both issues by drafting a new will that includes both your new spouse and your children or creating revocable trusts that provide for the interests of both parties.

Updating key documents during remarriage

Of course, your will and even your trust documents may only reflect a portion of your estate. Many accounts, including retirement and investment funds as well as life insurance policies, pay out directly to a named beneficiary. If you were earlier divorced, it is important to ensure your beneficiaries are updated to reflect your current situation. You might name your trust as a beneficiary or simply update the names.

Remarriage is a happy and exciting time, but it can also be important to keep your plans for the future in mind. An estate planning attorney might help you review and update your will, trusts and other estate documents.

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