Estate Planning is an important and often overlooked step in an individual's financial and family planning. No matter what your financial circumstances are, a well-crafted estate plan can protect you and your loved ones from potentially time-consuming and frustrating court procedures.
An effective estate plan will both help provide financial security during your lifetime and assist your loved ones in administering and distributing your estate. While the internet is flush with generic estate planning forms and documents, it is import to understand that estate planning is not a one size fits all business. Depending on your financial situation, estate planning can be a complex process and an attorney can help you determine which estate planning instrument will best fit your needs and goals.
Our attorneys at LBPC will work to understand each client's different needs and circumstances and will discuss the best route to take when estate planning. Our attorneys produce carefully crafted documents to reflect the desires of an individual to ensure your assets are properly protected.
A good way to start the process of designing and formalizing an estate plan is to contact an attorney at LBPC. During your consultation you and an attorney will discuss how wills or trusts can accomplish your intended goals. An attorney will also review any existing will or estate planning documents you may have, listen carefully to your thoughts and draft documents that will carry out your intentions regarding the distribution of your assets.
Power of Attorney forms are also an essential aspect of the estate planning process. The State of Illinois has provided statutory forms for both Power of Attorney for Health Care and Power of Attorney for Property. These documents allow individuals to name an agent to make important life decisions in the event they become incapacitated. No estate plan is complete without these documents.
The main choice most clients will be making is whether a standard will is sufficient to meet their estate planning needs or if a trust is advisable. Most wills are subject to the probate court. However, probate no longer needs to be a lengthy and wasteful process. When a will is created to properly reflect the desires of the individual, probate is an orderly way to guarantee that provisions within a will are properly carried out.
Revocable Living Trusts are specific trusts that are each designed with particular purposes in mind. In a revocable living trust, the grantor of the trust maintains the ability to alter or adjust the provisions of the trust while he or she is still living. Upon death of the grantor, the proceeds of the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries. A revocable living trust typically avoids the probate process, and has a number of other advantages.
Contact Ladewig & Basch, P.C. to schedule a consultation regarding your estate planning needs.