The wedding vows say "'til death do us part" but divorce changes everything and that means everything has to change - including your estate planning!  In this week's episode, Susan Guthrie speaks with Attorney Rebecca Wallenfelsz, leading Trusts & Estates Attorney, about all of the issues and factors that are affected when the marital relationship ends.

Estate planning includes your Last Will & Testament and those decisions about who gets all your stuff after you die, but there is so much more involved in pulling together a proper plan and not all of it is just about what happens when you die.  Attorney Rebecca Wallenfelsz has been helping individuals and families to structure their estate planning for almost 25 years and she shares all of the many factors that go into an all-inclusive plan, including disability, guardianship, healthcare matters and yes, who will get your estate when you pass away.  Whether you have a plan in place already, or have never created an estate plan, it is all upended when there is a divorce and there are critical actions to take both DURING the divorce and AFTER!  This is a must listen episode for everyone who is contemplating divorce, is going through divorce or who has recently finalized their divorce.  LISTEN TODAY!

Highlights from this Episode:

  • What are the things to think about in Estate Planning when you are starting a divorce?
  • What happens to your prior estate planning documents when your divorce is finalized?
  • Why is executing a new Power of Attorney so important even before the divorce is done?
  • What is your legal status once the divorce is filed?  Are you still married?
  • How does life insurance factor in to an estate plan and what happens to those policies when you get divorced?
  • How does estate planning make the lives of your loved ones so much easier?

More About This Week's GuestAttorney Rebecca Wallenfelsz is a partner at Chapman and Cutler in the Trusts and Estates Department, and has been practicing law since 1997. Rebecca has extensive experience representing individuals and institutions in estate planning and trust and estate matters. Rebecca’s experience in estate planning matters includes drafting a variety of wills, trusts and premarital agreements, and in planning for and minimizing estate, gift and generationskipping transfer taxes and related income taxes, including taxes related to retirement plan assets. Her practice includes more sophisticated estate planning devices, such as family limited partnerships, grantor-retained annuity trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts and split-dollar agreements. For the charitably inclined client, Rebecca has planned for, or assisted in creating, directed funds, charitable remainder trusts and private foundations. In addition, she reviews and prepares fiduciary tax returns, private foundation information returns and estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax returns.

You can reach out to Rebecca at or by telephone at 312.845.3442. She is liscensed to practice law in both Illinois and Wisconsin.

You can find attorneys who practice in the area of estate planning by contacting the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.


SUSAN GUTHRIE, ESQ., the creator and host of The Divorce and Beyond Podcast, is nationally recognized as one of the top family law and divorce mediation attorneys in the country.  She is one of the Co-Chair's of the American Bar Association's DR Section Mediation Committee and is the Founder of Divorce in a Better Way which provides a curated selection of resources and information for those facing divorce and other life changes.  Susan also provides legal coaching and divorce mediation services to select clients around the world through an online platform.  Find out more at



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