Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys recognize an effective estate plan has to account for all of your property, as well as who will take care of you or your spouse if you become ill. In considering everything that you wish to leave for the next generation, we will help you consider scenarios where you live a long life, where you die unexpectedly, how to take care of your children and grandchildren and how to minimize headaches for those you leave behind. An estate can be a very complex legal mechanism with lots of moving parts and often involves your property passing to family members and friends. It is important that your final wishes are followed which is why a solid and well drafted custom estate plan is necessary.
Most estate plans involve one of our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys drafting a will and often a living trust. You will usually need at least one power of attorney for healthcare and another for property. There are often additional documents necessary to provide for your healthcare and the to protect your assets. Our estate planning attorneys are experienced in evaluating and drafting the documents for your estate planning needs. We will spend the time necessary to ensure that your assets and your future are protected.
Most people have heard of a document called a will and recognize that it represents the last wishes of a person who has passed away. While this is true, a will is also a very specific legal document that is regulated by the laws of the State of Illinois. A valid will must be properly witnessed and executed to be valid. If those laws are not followed to the letter then the will can be disqualified and ultimately not be followed.
If those laws are not followed to the letter, then the will can be disqualified and ultimately your wishes may not be followed. For smaller estates drafting a will may be all that is necessary for a complete Estate Plan. For larger estates a will is one piece of a whole estate plan. We assess each client’s custom estate planning according to their needs. Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys know the laws of will preparation and can ensure you that your wishes are followed exactly the way you want them to be.
Estates that include real estate or sufficient value may require a trust to accompany a will in order to properly protect assets. A trust is a separate document containing instructions that you compose for a trustee to follow. This can include rules of succession as well as limitations on what your beneficiaries can do with your property. A trust is usually much more complicated than a will and requires additional attention to execute it properly. When written correctly a good trust will allow a lot of flexibility and options as to how your assets are protected. A properly funded trust can also save your heirs a lot of money and headaches by avoiding the probate process. And a trust is an excellent vehicle for keeping your assets private.
Illinois Power of Attorney
The future is uncertain and you will not always be able to make your own decisions when it comes to matters of your estate. A power of attorney is a document that can allow another person to make certain decisions for you when you are unable. Most estate plans include a power of attorney for health decisions and one for financial decisions. Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys will ensure that your powers of attorney are intact and properly represent your wishes.
Probate In Illinois
Probate is a legal process governed by the Illinois Probate Act. This can be a very complicated legal process which lasts a minimum of 14 months. Probate is required when a person passes away without a will or when they have a will but do not have a trust. The probate process involves an Administrator and court overview of the distribution to the heirs as well as the creditors of the estate. Click here for more information about the process
Consult With One of Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys and secure your future.