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What is Illinois Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a multi-faceted and individual practice. No two estate plans in Illinois are the same, but they all provide specific protection and direction for the individual’s estate that includes establishing decision-making authority, outlining specific instructions, and protecting assets for heirs. Depending upon your specific needs, the core legal documents outlined below are an excellent place to start.

The estate planning process is fluid, and updates, known as amendments and codicils, may be needed to remain current with changes in your life and applicable laws. Our Naperville law office can help you or your loved one protect your assets with an estate plan or update your plan to address your asset protection goals.

What are The Important Documents Your Naperville, Illinois Estate Plan Should Include?

Each Illinois estate plan is tailored to meet your wishes with a unique set of documents. An estate plan speaks to your precise intentions for asset distribution to the management of your financial and medical affairs during a disability. Legal documents commonly used in an estate plan may include a will, trust, and advance directives.

Trusts

A Trust-centered estate plan benefits many individuals and families, most notably for its ability to avoid probate in the state of Illinois when properly created and funded. These comprehensive legal documents serve estates large and small and have privacy, liquidity, tax avoidance benefits, and costs saving features not available otherwise. Different Trusts can also be created for insurance policies, retirement plans, and to support charities, and come generally informal allowing for amendments or revocation, while others are irrevocable.

Wills

Wills remain a resource for those planning their estate management and distribution. These documents can stand alone, if appropriate, or are a component of a Trust-centered estate plan. A Will serves to distribute your assets also, while allowing for the nomination of guardians to care for your children, among other things. In the absence of a valid estate plan, your assets are subject to a generic distribution scheme under the laws of intestate succession. Our attorneys will review your current assets along with your personal and financial goals to inform and guide you in choosing the best estate plan for your individual needs.

Advance Directives

Advance Directives allow you to designate an individual to act on your behalf when you become incapacitated. A Property Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and Living Will work both separately or together to transfer authority to a trusted agent in managing decisions regarding your finances and health while avoiding the need of the formality of a Court-ordered Guardianship in most instances. These directives to institutions and healthcare professionals remove an unnecessary burden from family members who may face stressful decisions concerning your care or financial condition and provide specific guidance and authority to your trusted agents. Our estate planning attorneys review the intricacies of these legal documents to ensure your plan meets your specific desires.

The Value of Working with an Experienced Naperville, IL Estate Planning Attorney

Our Naperville estate planning attorneys will guide you through creating or updating your Illinois estate plan. As you and your children move through life, including marriage, disability, death, or divorce, or your estate grows in value, your asset protection needs will change as well.

Our experienced Illinois estate planning lawyers provide carefully designed estate planning documents that address healthcare decisions and end-of-life decisions. Our Illinois law firm can help update and create your estate plan to ensure the legacy you leave passes to your loved ones.

The Law Office of Edward P. Graham, Ltd. is here to help you and your loved ones understand Estate Planning, Business Law, Illinois Litigation, Probate, Family Law, and Real Estate Law. We welcome you to contact our Naperville law firm to learn more about how we can help meet your Estate Planning needs from Naperville to Chicago including all of DuPage County and Will County.

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