1214 W. Northwest Hwy.
Palatine, Illinois 60067
Jolanta A. Zinevich, L.L.C.
Attorney at Law
Call now for a FREE consultation:
Office: (847) 461-9373
Fax: (847) 388-4832
A Will provides your instructions after your death, but it does not avoid probate. If you have assets titled in your name or which are directed by you in your will, said assets will go through Probate. The Probate process can become very expensive with legal fees and court costs. It may also take anywhere from nine months to two years or longer. Most probate files are open to the Public.
You may own some assets that will not go through probate. For example, if you own property jointly, depending on how you title the property, upon your death it may pass automatically to the joint owner. Some assets allow you to name a beneficiary, such as Life Insurance, IRA, 401 (k)s. Consequently, upon your death these assets will automatically be distributed to your named beneficiary without probate.
Right of Spouse to renounce the Will:
Even if you outline what you want your spouse to receive after your death, Illinois Law gives your spouse the right to renounce your will after your death. Your spouse can do this even if you leave him/her nothing. Pursuant to Illinois Law, a spouse that renounces the will, is entitled to 1/3 of the entire estate if the testator leaves a descendant or 1/2 of the entire estate if the testator leaves no descendant. Of course, the share is calculated after the payment of all just claims.
Impact of a Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) on a previously executed Will
Pursuant to 755 ILCS 5/4-7 (b) of the Probate Act a dissolution of marriage (i.e. divorce) or declaration invalidity of a marriage (i.e. annulment) revokes any gift made to the now ex-spouse under a will that was executed before the entry of the judgment of dissolution or marriage or declaration of invalidity. Any power of appointment and appointments of the ex-spouse as a fiduciary are also revoked. Consequently, it is best to create a new will after the dissolution of marriage or declaration invalidity of a marriage
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