What Happens To Your Will When You Get Married?

  • Estate Planning
What Happens To Your Will When You Get Married?

Many people wonder what happens to their will when they get married. And many more people never even think about their will when they get married. The short answer is: Nothing. When you get married, nothing is automatically changed in your will. That means whatever was in your will before you got married is not changed when you are legally married – unless you update your will.

Many people also question if they should even bother to update their will when they get married. The short answer is: Yes! If you don’t update your will when you get married, you’ll cause your spouse unnecessary time, money and stress!

How To Update Your Will When You Get Married

Any time you have an important life change, you should review and update your beneficiaries:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth of a child or grandchild
  • Death of a child, spouse, parent, sibling or dependent
  • Joining or leaving the military
  • Retirement
  • Children reaching legal age

An updated will and beneficiary designations make the process of transferring assets after death faster and easier for everyone involved, and making a mistake can cause annoying and expensive problems that an attorney might not be able to fix. Updating your will is fast and easy. A simple call to your estate planning attorney can tell you how to update your will – and make sure your updated will is legal and recognized by the courts!

If You Die Without A Will In Illinois

If you die without a will in Illinois, your assets will be transferred according to the state’s “intestate succession” laws. Who inherits what will depend on whether or not you have a living spouse, children, parents, or other close relatives when you die. Intestacy laws divide a person’s property based on the family relationships that are in existence at the time of their death.

In Illinois, if you are married and die without a will the following intestate succession rules will apply:

  • children but no spouse —> surviving children inherit everything
  • spouse but no children —> spouse inherits everything
  • spouse and children —> 50% to the spouse and children equally share the other 50%
  • parents but no spouse or children —> parents inherit everything
  • siblings but no spouse, children, or parents —> siblings inherit everything

So if you’re married and don’t have a will, do you even need a will? YES: If you don’t have a will, it will take the courts time – and money – to settle your estate and give your heirs your assets. This could be very expensive and will take at least 6 months or longer, which can cause your spouse a lot of stress and could cause them to have financial problems while they’re waiting for your estate to be settled.

Lombard Estate Planning Attorney

Have you recently gotten married and want to update your will? Our experienced estate planning attorneys in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois can advise you on the best options to protect your assets and loved ones. To talk to a trust attorney contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.