Developing a sound estate plan can be a daunting endeavor without the help of an experienced Aurora estate planning lawyer. Often, people like yourself investigate online services which are little more than a “fill in the blanks” form that one size fits all. Most people don’t know that estate planning attorneys get a lot of their business from clients who tried to do it themselves, only to find out that a comprehensive Living Trust or estate plan is not as easy as cut and paste.
The most effective way to plan your estate is to work with an estate planning lawyer, and that’s where ChicagoEstateLawyer.com can help. We’ve hand selected attorneys serving the Greater Chicago area based on experience, and practice focus specifically on estate planning and related cases. We invite you to choose an estate planning attorney who serves Aurora, Il to help you with your will, living trust or probate matter.
Components of an Estate Plan
Your estate plan will most likely include at least one of the following, and possibly multiple elements:
Wills – This is the legally binding estate document that outlines who will receive your assets. Your beneficiaries do not have to be your relatives – you can leave assets to a charitable organization or an institution, such as your alma mater;
Power of Attorney – You can grant power of attorney, the right to make medical, financial, and personal decisions on your behalf, to a loved one you trust to act in your best interest when you cannot make decisions for yourself;
Living Trusts – With a trust, another party holds the legal title to a piece of your property, then transfers it to a beneficiary after you pass;
Instructions – You need to instruct for the care of your minor children or disabled adult children.
Estate Planning and Probate – Death Without a Will or Living Trust
If you don’t have a will or living trust in place when you pass away, your assets are subject to Illinois’ intestacy laws. These laws determine which parties are to inherit a deceased individual’s assets depending on which descendants he or she has. This can be contested in probate court, but it is an expensive and lengthy process.
After receiving assets, whether through a will or intestacy succession, beneficiaries can be subject to estate taxes if the deceased did not take careful measures to reduce or eliminate these taxes. In some cases, receiving assets can put a beneficiary deep into debt.
Probate is the process through which the court identifies and appraises a deceased individual’s assets, then pays the associated taxes and debts, followed by distributing the remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries. Choosing an experienced Aurora estate planning law firm to help you draft or modify your plan can reduce or even eliminate the need for an estate to go through probate, which can be expensive for the deceased’s family and potentially create family arguments and problems.
Working with an Estate Planning Lawyer
An experienced estate planning lawyer is well-versed in Illinois law, federal law, and the products and investment options available to you. Instead of facing this confusing, complicated process yourself, work with one of our hand-picked attorneys who can act as your guide and advocate. Schedule your initial consultation with an Aurora, Il estate planning lawyer and be sure to prepare a list of questions and concerns before your appointment. A productive conversation about estate planning will lead to empowered, productive choices.